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UK PM Boris Johnson • US President Joe Biden • March 24, 2022
London and Washington have been exercising their control over the Ukrainian negotiators with the aim of dragging out the conflict, and this policy has led to the suspension of peace talks between Moscow and Kiev, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claimed on Tuesday.

Speaking at the New Horizons educational marathon, Lavrov said that Ukraine may have made its own decision in Istanbul, when it came up with some "acceptable principles for reaching agreements" during negotiations with Russia. However, according to the minister, these ideas were apparently not supported by the West.
"We have information coming through various channels that Washington and especially London 'lead' the Ukrainian negotiators and control their freedom of maneuver. They want to drag out the conflict, and it seems to them that the longer it will last, the more damage they will inflict on Russian servicemen."
The foreign minister doubts, however, that "transferring the conversation to the level of Washington or London" would be able to change anything in terms of the progress. "Anyway, neither London, nor Washington, nor the West as a whole has put forward any proposals," Lavrov said.

Lavrov cited remarks by the EU, UK and US officials who have said on multiple occasions, that Russia should not be allowed to win in the Ukrainian conflict including Ukraine. The West actually acknowledged:
"Ukraine is expendable in a hybrid total war against the Russian Federation. The war was declared by them. And not at all between Ukraine and Russia, but between the West and Russia."
Earlier on Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko said that diplomatic dialogue between Moscow and Kiev had been completely suspended after Kiev withdrew from negotiations without providing any response to the latest Russian proposals.

A Ukrainian presidential adviser, Mikhail Podolyak, later confirmed that "after the Istanbul communiqué [in March], there have been no changes, no progress."

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine's failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow's eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.