MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz denied that Russian troops were bombing Ukrainian cities, dismissing such information as fake, the Kremlin said Friday.
Putin said reports about "the alleged ongoing air strikes of Kyiv and other large cities are gross propaganda fakes," the Kremlin said in a statement.
He added 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 said.
These include the neutral and non-nuclear status of Ukraine, its "denazification", recognition of Crimea as part of Russia and of 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.