Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he found it "disgusting" that former leaders of important European countries "work for Russia" after former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said Russia wanted a negotiated solution to the war.
Russia is currently activating "various emissaries" who aim to present "theses that the terrorist state allegedly wants negotiations," Zelenskiy said in his late-night address on August 3.
Schroeder, a friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said earlier that he had met with the Kremlin leader last week in Moscow.
"It is simply disgusting when former leaders of major states with European values work for Russia, which is at war against these values," Zelenskiy said in response.
"If Russia really really wanted the end of the war, it would not now [send] reserves to the south of Ukraine and would not produce mass graves of murdered innocent people on Ukrainian territory," he said.
Schroeder earlier expressed concern over the energy crisis sparked by Moscow's invasion of Ukraine and asked the Kremlin chief to explain how he sees the situation and whether the Nord Stream 2 pipeline could be put into operation.
Schroeder was also quoted by German media as saying a grain deal signed by Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, and the UN is a "first success" and it could be "slowly expanded to a cease-fire," but Ukraine immediately poured cold water on that idea.
Presidential adviser Mykhaylo Podolyak said if Moscow wants dialogue, the ball is in its court.
"First -- a cease-fire and withdrawal of troops, then -- constructive [dialogue]," he said on Twitter.
The Kremlin said in a recap of the meeting that Schroeder discussed obstacles to gas supplies to Europe after a recent cut that Moscow blames on a turbine in maintenance. Germany says it is ready to be shipped but that the Russians have yet to file paperwork needed to send the turbine back.
"[Schroeder] asked Putin to clarify the situation and explain the position of the Russian side on the unfolding situation," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists in Moscow on August 3.
Peskov said that Putin told Schroeder that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline was ready to be used. He also claimed that Russian gas supplies have fallen to around 30 million cubic meters per day from 167 million cubic meters after Poland sanctioned the Yamal-Europe pipeline and Ukraine stopped flows via one of the routes.
Schroeder was German chancellor from 1998 to 2005. After leaving office, he was made chairman of the board of Russian state-owned oil giant Rosneft. He has criticized Russia's war in Ukraine but has refused to condemn Putin, whom he still calls a close personal friend.
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was recently completed to deliver natural gas from Russia to Germany, was heavily criticized for deepening Germany's dependence on Russian energy. The pipeline has been blocked from going into operation since Russia's invasion.