Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday said the signal from peace talks with Russia was arguably positive but added that it did not drown out explosions from Russian bullets.
In a late-night speech, Zelensky also expressed caution about Russia’s promise to abruptly restrict military action in some areas and said Ukraine would not reduce its defense efforts.
Russia and Ukraine have held peace talks at an Istanbul palace. Zelensky said Kyiv sees no reason to believe the words of some Russian representatives.
“We can say the signal we received from the negotiations was positive but it did not drown out the Russian ammunition explosion,” he said, adding that Ukraine could only trust the concrete results of the negotiations.
Earlier that day, Russia promised to reduce military operations around the capital and northern Ukraine.
Zelensky said despite this pledge, “the situation has not become easier … the Russian military still has great potential to continue attacks on our country.”
He added: “Therefore we are not reducing our defensive efforts.”
Zelensky reiterated that for any peace agreement to succeed, the Russian army must go and there can be no compromise on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
He also called for tougher sanctions against Russia and rejected the idea of current punitive measures being lifted until the war was over and justice was restored.
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