Lavrov says Russia open to talks with West on Ukraine, awaiting serious proposal

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey 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 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.”

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He also said Russia would not turn down a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden at a forthcoming G20 meeting 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 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would have an opportunity to put proposals to Russian President Vladimir Putin when both visit Kazakhstan this week.

Lavrov was speaking in the eighth month of the war at a moment when Russia’s invasion has stalled and it has been dealt a series of stinging defeats by Ukrainian forces since the start of September.

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