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Putin may meet Erdogan in Astana to discuss idea of Russia-West talks

President Vladimir Putin may meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan this week to discuss a Turkish proposal to host talks between Russia and the West on Ukraine,the Kremlin said on Monday (10 October).

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Russia had not received any signals about the prospect of negotiations with the West in Turkey, but did not rule out that Putin could discuss this with Erdoğan.

Both Putin and Erdoğan are expected to visit Kazakhstan this week.

Astana is hosting summits of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building measures in Asia (CICA, 13 October) and a formal summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS, 14 October).

‘Open for diplomacy’

Russia is open for diplomacy, but Washington’s encouragement of Ukraine’s “bellicose mood” complicates diplomatic efforts to solve the conflict, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Monday.

“We repeat once again specially for the American side: the tasks that we set in Ukraine will be solved,” Zakharova wrote on the ministry website.

“Russia is open for diplomacy and the conditions are well known. The longer Washington encourages Kyiv’s bellicose mood and encourages rather than hinders the terrorist undertakings of Ukrainian saboteurs, the more difficult will be the search for diplomatic solutions.”

G20 summit in Indonesia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that Moscow was open to talks with the West on the Ukraine war but had yet to receive any serious proposal to negotiate.

In an interview on state TV, Lavrov said Russia was willing to engage with the United States or with Turkey on ways to end the war, now in its eight month.

Lavrov said officials including White House national security spokesman John Kirby had said the United States was open to talks but that Russia had refused.

“This is a lie,” Lavrov said. “We have not received any serious offers to make contact.”

He also said Russia would not turn down a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden at a mid-November summit of the Group of 20 in Indonesia, and would consider the proposal if it receives one.

“We have repeatedly said that we never refuse meetings. If there is a proposal, then we will consider it,” Lavrov said.

Commenting on the possibility that Turkey could host talks between Russia and the West, Lavrov said Moscow would be willing to listen to any suggestions but could not say in advance whether this would lead to results.

He said Erdoğan would have an opportunity to put proposals to Putin when both visit Kazakhstan this week.

Tensions between the West and Russia over its seven-month long invasion of Ukraine are still rising, with Moscow launching missile strikes across Ukraine on Monday in response to a weekend explosion that badly damaged a Russian-built bridge to Crimea.

Turkey, which has close relations with both Moscow and Kyiv, has been seen as a potential mediator in the conflict, and in July helped broker a deal to export Ukrainian grain blockaded in Black Sea ports.

The capital of Kazakhstan is hosting another summit later this month, to be attended by Council President Charles Michel. The leaders of the five Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan) will meet in Astana on 26-27 October.

Source: Euractiv