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30 May, 2023 13:22

Top EU diplomat ‘not optimistic’ about Ukraine peace prospects

Josep Borrell previously dismissed a peace initiative proposed by China as “wishful thinking”
Top EU diplomat ‘not optimistic’ about Ukraine peace prospects

It is highly unlikely that Russia will engage in peace negotiations with Ukraine in the foreseeable future, the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, has said. He argued that Moscow is intent on achieving a military victory over the neighboring state.

Speaking in Barcelona, Spain on Monday, the bloc’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy said he has little optimism regarding the developments in Ukraine this summer.

I see a concentration of troops on both sides, the clear will of Russia to try to win the war,” the diplomat said.

According to Borrell, Moscow “will not go to a negotiation until it has tried to win the war.” He added that the Kremlin has repeatedly sent signals indicating its willingness to continue the military campaign until its goals are achieved.

I’m afraid that between now and the summer, the war is going to continue,” he said.

Borrell cited the “enormous” Russian military presence in Ukraine, claiming that Moscow currently has more than 300,000 troops deployed there – twice as many as at the start of the operation in February 2022.

He also acknowledged that Kiev will not be able to “defend itself” unless its Western backers continue to support it.

Last week, the former Russian president and current vice chair of the National Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, said: “This conflict will last for a long time. For decades, probably. This is the new reality.

He also claimed that the collapse of Ukraine’s statehood is inevitable.

A few days prior, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told TASS news agency that Moscow is currently considering only one option: “completing the special military operation,” which means securing Russia’s interests and achieving its goals either through military or other available means.

Peskov noted: “It is unlikely that we can talk about real negotiations with any of the representatives of the current Kiev authorities.