Nearly entering the eighth-month mark since launching its “special military operation” in Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told state media that Moscow’s pursuit in Kyiv remains unchanged but emphasized its openness towards “peaceful” negotiation.

Nonetheless, seeing the “hostile” attitude of the West towards Russia, Peskov said that any prospect for talks would be impossible, adding that “it takes two” to kickstart a dialogue.

“It takes two sides to have a dialogue. As the West is now taking a very, very hostile stance towards us, it’s unlikely that there will be any such prospect in the near future,” Peskov said, as quoted by the Russian news agency TASS. “Nevertheless, Turkey, as well as a number of other countries, continue to try to mediate in some way.”

Ahead of his attendance at the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit on Thursday in the Kazakh capital, Russian President Vladimir Putin is reportedly to meet Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines to discuss possible peace talks ideas in Ukraine. However, the Kremlin said both leaders did not bring up nor discuss “the topic of a Russian-Ukrainian settlement” following the meeting.

Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Source: Wikimedia)

Despite the Western sanctions imposed on Russia, NATO member Turkey has kept a neutral position and good relations with both sides and even tried mediating peace talks twice, but as mentioned, the efforts continue to be unfruitful.

Not to mention how Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has reiterated its stance of no to negotiations with Russia during an online Q&A session with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe members, stressing that diplomacy with belligerent leaders who disregard international law was “impossible.”

Nevertheless, Ankara has hosted negotiations with Moscow since the start of the war. The former, together with the United Nations, has successfully mediated a deal between the latter and Kyiv that would allow the Russian blockade in the Black Sea ports for Ukraine to export grain supplies to poorer countries. Moreover, Ankara also played a key role in brokering one of the largest prisoner swaps between the conflicting countries, releasing more than 200 Ukrainian soldiers in exchange for dozens of Russian prisoners and a pro-Moscow politician.

‘Fighting for a fairer world’

During his speech at CICA, Putin urged Asian leaders attending the summit to push for a “fairer world,” describing the strong influence of the “collective West” in changing the rest of the world into becoming a “multi-polar” and how it has been “exploiting poorer countries” for increasing neo-colonial power.

“The world is becoming truly multi-polar,” Putin said. “And Asia, where new centres of power are emerging, plays a significant, if not key, role in it.”

The Kremin leader continued: “Like many of our partners in Asia, we believe a revision is needed of the global financial system, which has for decades allowed the self-proclaimed so-called ‘golden billion’, who redirected all capital flows and technologies to themselves to live largely at others’ expense.”

According to Reuters, the term “golden billion” has been used by Russia since the 1990s as part of its political discourse against Western nations, theorizing how the latter has been conspiring to exploit resources and brainwashing people, especially in poorer countries, to preserve the wealthy status of the West.

But this is nothing but a conspiracy theory made by Russia that conveniently fits its objective of expanding its own influence, which makes it ironic.

Meanwhile, Ukraine and the West have been making it clear that it does not intend to threaten or lower Russia’s global expansion, rather only protecting sovereignty and democracy.

CICA is an inter-governmental forum consisting of several Central Asian former Soviet nations, China, India, and some Arab and Southeast Asian nations that aim to promote peace, security, and stability in Asia, which was first proposed by Kazakhstan in the early 1990s. Earlier this month, Russia demanded to remove the Ukrainian ambassador from the forum following its comments about killing Russians. However, it was rejected by the Kazakh government, calling it inappropriate for maintaining “equal strategic” relations.

Russia’s Upcoming Nuclear Exercises

Western nations are on the lookout for Russia’s upcoming nuclear exercises, which typically occur this time of the year. Reuters reported that some officials even warned how this would become a challenge for the US and its allies, particularly in spotting the difference between mere drills and possible real attacks.

The use of nuclear weapons against anyone who intervenes’ with its “special military operation” in Ukraine has been in Putin’s mouth since February, and some Western officials expressed their concerns for Moscow to strike during its annual exercise.

To diffuse worries, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told journalists that the alliance would keep a closer eye on this year’s Russian nuclear drills, as it always has been monitoring for decades. Aside from nuclear weapons, the Kremlin will also be fire-testing its powerful ballistics and other explosive arsenals. Furthermore, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby assured that it would monitor the routine drills accordingly.