The Kremlin appears to have taunted Western leaders with an offer to engage in peace negotiations on Ukraine so long as they are "productive". (Photo by Contributor/Getty Images)


Kremlin open to ‘productive’ peace talks amid signs Ukraine support faltering


Moscow has said it may be interested in entering peace negotiations on Ukraine so long as they are “productive”, a spokesman for the Kremlin has said.

Such an offer for a negotiated peace comes amid rumours Western support for Kyiv may be faltering, with the eruption of conflicts in Africa and the Middle East posing problems for American and European leaders.

President Putin “has always been and remains a fan of results-oriented communication, not just talk for the sake of talk”, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Peskov was responding to a comment by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz about possible peace discussions.

“The president never rules out contacts, as he always says that he is open to various talks, especially summits,” Peskov said.

Scholz says Western leaders would be interested in a negotiated peace agreement if Russia pulls its troops out of Ukraine.

This is a condition Russia has repeatedly refused since its 2022 invasion.

Peskov appears to suggest the West will relax the precondition, however.

He expects Western powers’ position of Western powers “may change with time”, he says.

This is likely a veiled reference to reports insiders suggest Kyiv’s allies are privately keen to see a settlement, as they face growing conflicts in Africa and the Middle East.

European governments have been keen to play down these reports, with Germany announcing 13 November it would be doubling its military support for Ukraine to €4 billion.

“It is a strong signal to Ukraine that we will not leave them in the lurch,” says the country’s defence minister, Boris Pistorius.

However, the increase pales in comparison with US aid, which comes to over $75 billion as of the start of October.

President Biden is attempting to provide tens of billions of dollars more, but is struggling to convince the Republican-majority Congress.

Other European countries have already ceased backing Ukraine, with Slovakia’s new government being one of the latest to halt providing military aid to the invaded nation.