Vladimir Putin during his participation in the digital climate summit: Talks with Ukraine only in Moscow
Photo: Alexei Druzhinin / AP
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine seems to be easing slightly.
A conversation between the Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Selnskyj is now apparently imminent.
Putin is ready to meet with Zelenskyj - not in eastern Ukraine, as Zelenskyj proposed, but in the Russian capital Moscow, reported the Interfax news agency.
“If it is about developing mutual relationships, then please.
We receive the President of Ukraine in Moscow at any time that is convenient for him, ”Putin said.
Against the background of the tense situation in eastern Ukraine, Zelenskyi had previously proposed a meeting to the Kremlin chief in the conflict area of Donbas.
"I am ready to go further and propose a meeting at any point in the Ukrainian Donbass where there is war," said the 43-year-old in a speech in Russian.
Putin said that if Zelenskyi wanted to discuss the problems in Donbass, he would have to meet with the leaders of the eastern Ukrainian separatist areas of Luhansk and Donetsk.
For about seven years, parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions along the Russian border have been controlled by pro-Russian insurgents.
According to UN estimates, more than 13,000 people have been killed since the conflict broke out in 2014.
A peace plan agreed in 2015 is on hold.
Ukrainian soldier apparently killed by rebels loyal to Moscow
Most recently, a massive deployment of Russian troops near the border with Ukraine caused unrest in Kiev and NATO.
On Thursday, Russia finally announced the withdrawal of troops.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the goals of the military maneuvers had been achieved.
At first it was unclear whether this would mean a withdrawal of all troops.
Zelensky welcomed the removal of the Russian soldiers.
"The reduction in the number of troops at our border reduces the tension accordingly," wrote Selenskyj on Twitter.
According to the Ukrainian army, despite the current ceasefire, a soldier was killed on Thursday as a result of shelling by rebels loyal to Moscow.
The insurgents, in turn, accused the government troops of shelling civil objects on the western outskirts of the rebel stronghold of Donetsk.
fek / dpa / Reuters