© Yuri Voytkevich/SputnikTwo for the road
Ukrainian authorities must accept the new conditions no matter how "painful" it might be for them, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. He was responding to a question on the prospects of new talks between the two warring countries.

Peskov made the remarks in an interview released by Russian journalist Pavel Zarubin on Sunday. Should Russia and Ukraine ever actually get back to the negotiating table, the potential talks will not be the same as those held early in the ongoing conflict, Peskov suggested.
"Should we begin the same negotiations, there's a completely different reality now. And this new reality, no matter how painful it may be for the Kiev regime, must be recognized."
While Peskov did not elaborate, he presumably referred to the territorial changes, namely incorporation of the four formerly Ukrainian regions, Zaporozhye and Kherson, as well as Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics into Russia following referendums in late 2022.

Kiev, however, has repeatedly vowed to seize all its former territories from Moscow, including Crimea which broke away from Ukraine in the aftermath of the 2014 Maidan coup and subsequently joined Russia.

The March 2022 negotiations between Moscow and Kiev culminated in the signature of a preliminary agreement between the two nations, signed in Istanbul. The deal, obliged Russia to withdraw its troops from around the Ukrainian capital, but Kiev violated the agreement almost immediately after it had been signed.

According to recent revelations by David Arakhamia, the leader of president Vladimir Zelensky's party in the Ukrainian parliament, and a key negotiator at the botched talks, then-UK PM Boris Johnson played a pivotal role in orchestrating the failure of the talks. As Arakhamia put it, Johnson at the time simply told the Ukrainians "let's just continue fighting" and urged them not to sign anything with Russia.

Moscow has repeatedly insisted it was ready to settle the hostilities through negotiations, blaming the lack of any diplomatic effort on the matter on Kiev. The stance was reiterated by the Russian President Vladimir Putin during the conversation with the American journalist Tucker Carlson last week.

Putin stated:
"The President of Ukraine [Vladimir Zelensky] has legislated a ban on negotiating with Russia. He signed a decree forbidding everyone to negotiate with Russia. But how are we going to negotiate if he forbade himself and everyone to do this? We know that he is putting forward some ideas about this settlement. But in order to agree on something, we need to have a dialogue."