Russia will achieve its goal of ensuring Ukraine's neutral status and will prefer to do that through talks, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.
Moscow's aims do not include overthrowing the Kyiv government and it hopes to achieve more significant progress in the next round of talks with Ukraine, Ms. Zakharova told a briefing, adding that Russia's military operation was going strictly in line with its plan.
Her comments came a day after Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said his country was no longer insisting on joining the NATO and that he was open for a compromise on the Donetsk and Luhansk breakaway republics that were recognised as independent by Russia.
The Russian Foreign Ministry also said "some progress has been made" in talks with Ukraine.
Ukraine and Russia officials have been meeting on the Belarus-Poland border for talks to end fighting.
Ms. Zakharova said another round of talks would be focused on humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians. The Army's aim is "not to occupy Ukraine, or the destruction of its statehood, or the overthrow of the government. It is not directed against the civilian population," Ms. Zakharova said.
President Vladimir Putin has said he sent in troops to Ukraine to "de-Nazify" the country.
Ms. Zakharova, during the briefing, accused the Kyiv authorities of blocking efforts to evacuate civilians. "Information about humanitarian corridors is deliberately not communicated to the population," she said. "Persons wishing to leave for Russia are forced to evacuate in the western direction.”
Russia and Ukraine have agreed a day-long ceasefire on Wednesday around a series of evacuation corridors to allow civilians to escape fighting.
Moscow said this week it would set up evacuation corridors, but Kyiv said the proposed routes were unacceptable because some led to Russia.
Ms. Zakharova claimed that around two million Ukrainians want to be evacuated to Russia.