Moscow has never avoided direct dialogue with Kiev, including at the highest level, but such a dialogue needs to be aimed at achieving specific results, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko said at a press conference hosted by TASS on Thursday.
"As for [Ukrainian] President [Vladimir] Zelensky’s statement about readiness to hold direct dialogue with his [Russian] counterpart, President [Vladimir] Putin, I can confirm that Russia has never avoided direct dialogue," Rudenko said in response to a TASS question.
He pointed out that the two presidents had held dialogue on the phone and at a meeting in Paris in December 2019. "The most important thing for us is to make sure that dialogue is aimed at achieving specific results and not at promoting anyone," the Russian diplomat added.
Zelensky said earlier at a press conference marking his first year in office that resolving the conflict in Donbass required direct talks with the Russian president.
Putin and Zelensky held their first telephone conversation on July 11, 2019, six weeks after Zelensky had taken office as Ukrainian president. Their first personal meeting took place on the sidelines of the Normandy Four summit in Paris on December 9, 2019.