Kiev seeks to end the conflict but not on Russia’s terms, Igor Zhovkva has said FILE PHOTO: Igor Zhovkva, special envoy and deputy chief of staff of Vladimir Zelensky. © Horacio Villalobos / Corbis / Corbis via Getty Images

Ukraine intends to hold a second ‘peace summit’ later this year, the deputy head of Vladimir Zelensky’s office, Igor Zhovkva has said. However, the official stressed that Kiev cannot accept Russia’s demand that it withdraw troops from four regions.

In an interview with the Interfax-Ukraine news agency on Friday, Zhovkva said his country wanted a follow-up to last week’s peace conference in Switzerland. The event focused on three points of Zelensky’s “peace formula,” including prisoner exchanges, food and nuclear security. Moscow was not invited to the gathering, and has rejected Zelensky’s plan, which calls for Russia to withdraw from all territories Kiev claims as its own.

“We want to hold the second peace summit before the end of the year. The process should not be delayed. Ukraine, like no one else, wants peace as soon as possible,” Zhovkva said, adding that Kiev “definitely does not want peace to be based on the so-called Russian recognition of reality.”

Prior to the Swiss-hosted conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow was ready to immediately start peace talks with Kiev if it withdraws from Russia’s Donbass and the Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, with the ultimate deal including Ukraine’s neutrality and the lifting of Western sanctions. Both Kiev and the West have dismissed the offer.

Russia will ‘never’ withdraw troops – Putin Russia will ‘never’ withdraw troops – Putin

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Russia will ‘never’ withdraw troops – Putin

Asked where a possible follow-up meeting could take place, Zhovkva suggested that it could be hosted by a country of the Global South, but refused to name any specific nations, claiming that Russia could then attempt to prevent the gathering from taking place.

Officials in Kiev previously left open the possibility of inviting Russia to the next conference, with Swiss officials saying it would not be held in Europe or the West, and hinting that Saudi Arabia could be considered as an option.

Putin previously called the Swiss-hosted event a Western trick to create the illusion of a global anti-Russian coalition and distract attention from the roots of the conflict.

However, Aleksey Chepa, deputy head of the Russian State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee, has suggested that Moscow could take part in the next meeting provided that Russia’s conditions for ending the conflict are addressed at the gathering. (RT)