MINSK, 15 September (BelTA) – It was the United States who forbade Ukraine to continue peace talks with Russia, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko told the media on the sidelines of the meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, BelTA has learned.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was asked to comment on U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's statement that it takes to tango with regard to the possible peace talks on Ukraine.
"As for the Americans, they themselves do not know how to tango. Tango is wonderful amazing music and beautiful moves, but the United States solves all issues from a position of force. Or with the help of economic sanctions, or financial restrictions, the threat of the use of military force, or its use. They are trying to teach everyone while they themselves do not know how to do it or do not want to. Most likely, they just don't want to," Vladimir Putin said.
He stressed that Russia has never refused to negotiate. "Therefore, if the other side wants to, they should say about it directly," the Russian leader said.
The Russian president noted: "Tangoing is good, but it is important that Ukraine does not forget how to dance gopak. This is important. Otherwise, they will have to dance to someone else's music, someone else's tune all the time. But everyone will have to dance [the Russian dance] Barynya, one way or another, or Kazachok in the best-case scenario.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko, in turn, said: "They seem to have begun to tango. Three rounds of negotiations were held in Belarus and Istanbul. Then Blinken and Austin commanded Zelensky to stop the negotiations. These are the facts. These are the hard facts. Therefore, they have no reason to blame others.
"He signed a decree prohibiting [the negotiations with Russia]," Vladimir Putin agreed.
"He forbade it for himself," Aleksandr Lukashenko added.