Kremlin says it cannot imagine public negotiations with Kyiv

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov attends a news conference of Russian President Vladimir Putin following the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan September 16, 2022. Sputnik/Sergey Bobylev/Pool via REUTERS
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MOSCOW, Nov 17 (Reuters) - The Kremlin on Thursday accused Kyiv of shifting the goalposts regarding possible peace talks, saying it could not imagine engaging in public negotiations with Ukraine.

In a briefing call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the United States was capable of taking Russia's concerns into account and could encourage Kyiv to return to the negotiating table if it wanted to.

Peskov also said Ukraine had changed its position on whether it even wanted to negotiate with Moscow several times during the course of the nine-month conflict and could not be relied on.

"First they negotiate, then they refuse to negotiate, then they pass a law that prohibits any kind of negotiations, then they say they want negotiations, but public ones," Peskov told reporters.

"Therefore it's difficult to imagine public negotiations. ... One thing is for sure: the Ukrainians do not want any negotiations," he added.

Peskov said in this context Moscow would continue what it calls a "special military operation", and that missile strikes on targets across Ukraine were the consequence of Kyiv not being willing to meet at the negotiating table.

Reporting by Reuters; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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