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Zelenskiy Says Talks With Putin Needed To Get 'Our Lives Back'.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said that he must hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in order to safeguard Ukraine's sovereignty and existence.

The last known face-to-face talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators were held on March 29. Negotiations continued online for a while but both sides now say they have stopped.

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In an address to an Indonesian think tank on May 27, Zelenskiy said Ukraine was not longing to talk to Putin, but that it has to face the reality that this will likely be necessary to end the war Moscow launched against it on February 24.
"There are things to discuss with the Russian leader. I'm not telling you that our people are eager to talk to him, but we have to face the reality of what we are living through," Zelenskiy said. "What do we want from this meeting?... We want our lives back... We want to reclaim the life of a sovereign country within its own territory," he said, adding that Russia did not appear to be ready yet for serious peace talks. Zelenskiy also accused Russia -- which is has said it would allow Ukraine to resume its grain exports by sea if the West lifts some sanctions imposed on it for starting the war -- of weaponizing the global food supply crisis. In response, the Kremlin said on May 27 that it was unclear what Kyiv wanted. "The Ukrainian leadership constantly makes contradictory statements. This does not allow us to fully understand what the Ukrainian side wants," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a call with reporters.

With reporting by Reuters and TASS

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