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18 Jul, 2022 15:14

Kiev names condition for peace talks with Moscow

Ukrainian foreign minister appears to rule out talks anytime soon
Kiev names condition for peace talks with Moscow

Peace negotiations with Moscow will make sense only after Russia’s defeat on the battlefield, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has declared.

In an interview with Forbes Ukraine published on Monday, Kuleba named Russia’s “aggressive behavior” as a reason for the absence of peace talks, arguing that any negotiations “are directly linked to the situation at the front.”

I tell all partners a simple thing: ‘Russia should sit down at the negotiating table after defeat on the battlefield. Otherwise, it will be the language of ultimatums again,’” Kuleba explained.

He stressed that President Zelensky does not rule out “the possibility of negotiations” but believes that “there is no reason” for talks now.

He communicated this very clearly to the leaders of the countries who had hinted at negotiations. These leaders have also stopped talking about it,” Kuleba said.

In June, Ukraine’s top negotiator David Arakhamia suggested that Kiev believes it could achieve a“favorable position” by late August after it conducts “counteroffensive operations in certain areas.”

On Sunday, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev who is now a deputy chairman of the country’s Security Council, said that there shouldn’t be any doubts that all the goals of his country’s military operation in Ukraine would be achieved. At the same time, he noted that “such actions are not of an immediate nature,” referring to some of Vladimir Putin’s previous statements. 

“The President has repeatedly spoken about this, there are certain scenarios of how such operations are unfolding,” Medvedev explained.

Moscow and Kiev started peace talks four days after the start of the Russian military offensive in Ukraine in late February. The sides have held several rounds in person in Belarus and then continued the talks via video link. In late March, the delegations from Russia and Ukraine met once again, in Istanbul. Since then, however, the talks have completely stalled. The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia had provided Ukraine with a draft agreement but Kiev has ignored it. 

Peskov has previously accused the US and its allies of “actively betting on the continued war” and of not allowing Kiev “neither to think nor talk about or discuss peace.” Moscow has also warned the West against supplying Ukraine with weapons, saying that this would only lead to prolongation of the conflict and unnecessary casualties but would not change the outcome.