The Kremlin said on Wednesday that it had not received any proposals from Kyiv to halt fighting in Ukraine during the upcoming holiday period and that a ceasefire was not on Moscow’s agenda.
“No, no proposals have been received from anyone and no topic of this kind is on the agenda,” the Kremlin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters after being asked whether Russia would pause hostilities for the New Year or Christmas.
Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on Jan. 7, and public holidays in the country usually extend from New Year’s Day until after Christmas.
Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine in February, and Kyiv has said it is determined to continue fighting until it recaptures swathes of territory under Russian control.
In nearly 10 months of fighting, Russia has yet to fulfil any of its key stated goals in what it refers to as its “special military operation” in Ukraine, including seizing the capital or the eastern Donbas region.
The Moscow-installed leader of Ukraine’s Donetsk region on Wednesday however called for Russia to widen its goals and annex two more areas of Ukraine, the Black Sea region of Odessa and Chernihiv in the north.
In response to that call, Peskov said that any decision to incorporate those areas would depend on “the will of residents” there.
“The primary task is to protect people in the Luhansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic. Our military is concentrating on this,” he said, referring to two regions that Russia claimed to have annexed in September.