Highlights

  • Putin suggests return to Ukraine talks
  • Putin's remark after Russia observed Ukraine areas
  • 4 areas of Ukriane signed treaties with Russia

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After absorbing Ukrainian regions, Putin suggests return to Ukraine talks

Putin spoke during a Kremlin ceremony to start the process of incorporating parts of Ukraine into Russia, defying Western powers.

Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed on Friday that Russia has proposed negotiation talks with Ukraine, while insisting that there will be no discussion of the so-called "referendums" in Russian-controlled regions of Ukraine.

Putin spoke during a Kremlin ceremony to start the process of incorporating parts of Ukraine into Russia, defying Western powers.

He said the choice to join Russia has been made and "Russia will not betray it."

The ceremony in the Kremlin's opulent white-and-gold St. George's Hall will feature Putin and the Russian-installed leaders in the four regions of Ukraine signing treaties for them to join Russia, in a sharp escalation of the seven-month conflict.

The signing ceremony comes three days after the completion of Kremlin-orchestrated votes on joining Russia that were dismissed by Kyiv and the West as a "sham."

The separatist Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine have been backed by Moscow since declaring independence in 2014, weeks after the annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.

The southern Kherson region and part of neighbouring Zaporizhzhia have been under Russian control since early in the conflict, which began in February.

Also Watch| US Secretary of State Blinken slams Russia over referendums in Ukraine

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