JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine foreign minister muses about ‘punching’ Russia’s Lavrov” – Reuters

File Photo of Antony J. Blinken and Dmytro Kuleba Standing and Speaking Before U.S. and Ukrainian Flags, adapted from state.gov image

“… When asked, [in] rapid-fire questions, about his most difficult … negotiations, [Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro] Kuleba said: ‘The most difficult talks are those in which you feel simply that you want to go and punch your opposite number in the nose, but you really can’t do that. … [T]his occurred two or three times. One occasion was with Lavrov in … Antalya in spring of 2022.’ Ukrainian and Russian negotiators met for several rounds of talks … early … after the February 2022 invasionSergei Lavrov file photo …. Kuleba said at the time that the talks in Turkey had been difficult and dealt with a ceasefire and arranging humanitarian corridors. No agreement was clinched in those talks and there have been no negotiations since. …”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy now declines to hold negotiations with Russia until the Kremlin first withdraws Russian troops out of the roughly 20 percent of Ukrainian territory still occupied by Russian forces.

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