© www.usnewsFILE PHOTO: With the "masks off," the collective West is now eagerly showing its "bestial grin," Dmitry Peskov says
Ukraine's Western backers - and the US in particular - are doing their best to prevent Kiev from entering into any negotiations with Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. The official made the remarks on the sidelines of talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in Moscow on Tuesday.

Peskov was asked to comment on recent statements by senior Western officials, who said any peace initiative for Ukraine, should it arise from the Russia-China talks, would be "unacceptable." US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, for example, claimed any ceasefire in the current situation would only "ratify Russia's conquest to date" rather than contribute to peace.

"Washington, European capitals, but first of all, Washington is filled with the desire not to let, under any pretext, [Kiev] enter into peace negotiations. They simply do not let Kiev even think about it," Peskov said. Asked whether it was now 'normal' to incite war rather than call for peace, the spokesman responded affirmatively.

"Now, when the masks are off, everyone shows off their bestial grin. Except for us and China."

During the talks, the Russian and Chinese leaders discussed a 12-point roadmap for peace in Ukraine recently proposed by Beijing. Putin has lauded the initiative, expressing his readiness to discuss and build upon it, while also reiterating Moscow's desire to seek a diplomatic solution to the hostilities, which have been dragging on for over a year.

"We believe that many of the provisions of the peace plan put forward by China are consonant with the Russian stance and can be taken as a foundation for a peaceful settlement when they are ready for it in the West and in Kiev. However, so far we have not observed such readiness on their part," Putin said after the meeting.

The Chinese president has insisted that Beijing continues to maintain its position on the conflict and has urged both sides to stick to diplomacy and engage in dialogue. "We're always for peace and dialogue, and we firmly stand on the right side of history," Xi stated.