Among one of the top allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday said that Moscow would not abort its military operations in Ukraine even if Kyiv formally renounced its aspirations to join NATO.
Former President Dmitry Medvedev, who is now deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, also said that Russia was ready to hold negotiations with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, subject to certain conditions.
Even before the invasion began, Russia had made it clear that Ukrainian membership for NATO was unacceptable to it.
Medvedev said that, “Renouncing its participation in the North Atlantic alliance is now important, but it is already insufficient to establish peace.”
He said, Moscow would continue with invasion until its goals had been achieved. Putin says he wants to “denazify” Ukraine. Kyiv and the West say this is a baseless pretext for a war of conquest.
Russia and Ukraine held several rounds of talks after the invasion began, but they made no progress and there are few prospects for a resumption.
Medvedev said, “This (talks) will depend on how events unfold. We were ready before to meet (Zelenskyy).”
In his remarks, he also said United States weapons already supplied to Ukraine, like HIMARS multiple-rocket launchers – did not yet pose a substantial threat.
But that could change, he said, if the U.S. sent weapons that could hit targets at longer distances.
“It means that when this sort of missile flies 70 km, that is one thing,” he said. “But when it’s 300-400 km, that is another, now that would be a threat directly to the territory of the Russian Federation.”