International mercenaries who fought in Syria were spotted in Ukraine, Putin to Scholz
Shafaq News/ Russian President Vladimir Putin warned about a growing influx of international mercenaries fighting alongside the government in Ukraine.
Putin's remarks came during a conversation over the phone with Germany's Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, the Kremlin said on Friday.
"We are noticing an increase in the appearance (in Ukraine) of mercenaries from third countries, including from Albania and Croatia, Kosovo militants and even jihadists with experience of military operations in Syria," the statement said according to TASS agency.
Putin said reports about "the alleged ongoing airstrikes of Kyiv and other large cities are gross propaganda fakes."
He adds that dialogue on Ukraine would be possible only if Russian demands are met.
Putin "confirmed that Russia is open to dialogue with the Ukrainian side, as well as with everyone who wants peace in Ukraine. But under the condition that all Russian demands are met," the Kremlin says.
These include the neutral and non-nuclear status of Ukraine, its "denazification", recognition of Crimea as part of Russia, and the "sovereignty" of separatist territories in eastern Ukraine.
"Hope was expressed that during the planned third round of talks, the representatives of Kyiv will take a reasonable and constructive position," the Kremlin added.
The next meeting of delegations from Russia and Ukraine is expected during the weekend, according to one of Kyiv’s negotiators.