Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a decree on Tuesday which left the door open to negotiations with Russia, but also states that negotiations with President Vladimir Putin are "impossible."
"He (Putin) does not know what dignity and honesty are. Therefore, we are ready for a dialogue with Russia, but with another president of Russia," Zelenskyy said on Friday.
The decree comes after the Russian president announced that the four occupied regions of Ukraine would become part of Russia following sham elections in the country. Both Kyiv and Western countries have denounced the move.
Ukrainian forces have broken through Russian defences in the south of the country in Kherson Oblast and expanded a rapid offensive in the east and recaptured the town of Lyman. Ukrainian troops are retaking areas that were seized by Russia when it invaded Ukraine in February.
- Ukraine pierces Russia's southern frontlines in biggest breakthrough yet
- Strength of Ukrainian forces extends beyond Lyman, says Zelenskyy
- Zelenskyy: Lyman freed from Russian troops
Despite pressure on Russian forces on the frontline in Ukraine, the Russian upper house of the Parliament ratified a bill to annex the four regions in Russian-occupied Ukraine. The bill has already been approved by the lower house and will now be sent to President Vladimir Putin to sign and complete the illegal annexation.
Putin will turn 70 this week and has dominated Russian politics for the last two decades. Following constitutional reforms that he has overseen, he could remain in power until 2036.