Ukraine draft deal 'unacceptable': Russia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Kyiv's draft peace deal has "unacceptable" elements. -EPA

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Kyiv has presented Moscow with a draft peace deal that contains "unacceptable" elements, but that Russia would nonetheless continue talks and press to secure its own requirements.

The Kremlin has said that peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv are not progressing as rapidly as it would like and has accused the West of trying to derail negotiations by focusing on war crimes allegations, which Moscow denies.

Lavrov said on Thursday that Ukraine had presented a draft peace agreement to Russia on Wednesday but that it deviated from proposals both sides had previously agreed on.

"Such inability to agree once again highlights Kyiv's true intentions, its position of drawing out and even undermining the talks by moving away from the understandings reached," Lavrov said, adding that Kyiv's proposals were "unacceptable."

There was no immediate comment from Ukraine. Kyiv has said that talks are needed but it is not willing to give up its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on February 24 in what it called a special operation to degrade its southern neighbour's military capabilities and root out people it called dangerous nationalists.

Ukrainian forces have mounted stiff resistance and the West has imposed sweeping sanctions in an effort to force Russia to withdraw its forces.

Lavrov said Russia was now keen to continue with the talks and secure its own demands.

"Despite all the provocations, the Russian delegation will continue with the negotiation process, pressing for our own draft agreement that clearly and fully outlines our initial and key positions and requirements," he said.