The Kremlin said Tuesday there could be no progress in resolving the Ukraine conflict unless Kyiv recognises occupied territories as Russian.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s spokesman also brushed off Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s proposal that Russia begins pulling out troops this Christmas.
“The Ukrainian side needs to take into account the realities that have developed on the ground," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
“These realities show that the Russian Federation has new territories," he added.
“Without taking into account these realities, any progress is impossible."
Moscow claims to have annexed four southern and eastern Ukrainian regions — Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson — despite not controlling them fully.
In November, Moscow pulled out of the main city of Kherson but continues to control most of the wider Kherson region.
Addressing G7 nations on Monday, Ukraine’s Zelensky urged Russia to prove it is capable of renouncing “aggression" and to begin withdrawing troops from Ukraine this Christmas.
The Kremlin rejected the offer on Tuesday.
“It’s out of the question," Peskov said.
Zelensky has also called for extra weapons for Ukraine as well as for economic help.
Peskov said these demands would ensure a continuation of fighting.
Putin sent troops to Ukraine on February 24, saying the pro-Western country must be “demilitarised."
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