The discovery of dead in the Ukrainian village of Bucha, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, was a “provocation” meant to derail talks between Moscow and Kyiv.

“A question arises: What is the point of this plainly false provocation?” In a video message shown on Russian television, Lavrov stated, “We are led to believe that is to find a pretext to torpedo the ongoing negotiations.”

After their senior diplomats met in the Turkish resort of Antalya last month, the first such gathering since Moscow’s military action began on February 24, talks between Russia and Ukraine have resumed.

Following a summit in Istanbul last week, Russia indicated that it would dramatically limit its military efforts in northern Ukraine.
Ukraine has offered an international pact ensuring its security in exchange for accepting a neutral and non-nuclear status, refusing to join NATO, and refusing to host foreign military facilities.

Russia would not block Kyiv’s entrance to the European Union, according to the Ukrainian plan.

The situation in Bucha, according to Lavrov, is intended to “distract attention from the negotiation process, distract attention from the fact that the Ukrainian party has started to row back, trying to put forward new criteria” following Istanbul.
He did say, though, that Russia was “willing” to continue negotiations.

After photographs emerged of dead scattered throughout the streets following Russia’s pullout, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russian troops of killing people in Bucha.

The Kremlin, on the other hand, has denied any involvement and stated that the photographs of bodies were faked.
Ukraine’s security proposals have elicited no formal response from Russia, and conversations are continuing through videoconference.

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