(Dan Tri) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed that reports that Russia and Ukraine had held negotiations in Geneva were just rumors.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (Photo: Sputnik).

`Rumors are just rumors,` Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference on January 18, referring to reports that Russia and Ukraine had conducted negotiations in Geneva.

According to Mr. Lavrov, it is necessary to discuss with the West about ending the conflict in Ukraine as well as the accompanying conditions.

`Everyone knows that it is not Ukraine that decides when to end the conflict and seriously negotiate the actual conditions for ending the conflict, but this issue must be discussed with the West,` Russian diplomat

Mr. Lavrov reiterated that any sustainable peace in Ukraine requires Kiev to give up its ambition to join NATO.

Mr. Lavrov said that NATO is not interested in resolving the Ukraine conflict as it continues to ignore Russia’s security concerns.

He accused Western countries of pushing Kiev to escalate tensions, and even Ukraine’s supporters in the UK are advising Kiev to launch strong attacks against the Crimean peninsula, an area Russia annexed in 2014.

The Russian Foreign Minister also warned that if Ukraine only relies on its `bosses`, countries that Mr. Lavrov said only pursue their own interests, Kiev will not be able to expect to ensure benefits for its people.

According to Mr. Lavrov, Russia sees no reason to hold negotiations with the United States on strategic stabilization as long as Washington is waging a `coordinated war` against Moscow by supporting Ukraine.

Mr. Lavrov affirmed that Russia does not reject holding negotiations with the US, but the possibility of these negotiations taking place depends on whether the West `gives up its negative policy aimed at weakening security`.

Recently, there have been rumors that Western allies and partners are urging Ukraine to sit at the negotiating table with Russia in the context of Kiev’s counterattack campaign without any breakthrough, while the US and its allies have no breakthroughs.

Russia has repeatedly declared its willingness to negotiate, but on the condition that Ukraine must acknowledge `new territorial realities`.

Russia also called on Ukraine not to join NATO, while Kiev is pushing to become a member of the US-led military alliance.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials announced that peace talks will only take place when Russia withdraws all troops from Ukrainian territory, including Crimea.