Kiev rebuffs Indonesian peace efforts
Ukraine has rejected Indonesia’s proposal for a peace settlement with Moscow, arguing that Jakarta’s plan would only serve Russia’s interests.
President Vladimir Zelensky’s top adviser Mikhail Podoliak wrote on Twitter on Saturday that the roadmap “frankly looks like a twin of the Russian proposal… about the surrender [of Ukraine].”
The adviser reiterated Kiev’s position that the “only one realistic proposal” would be for Russia to “withdraw from the sovereign territory of Ukraine.”
Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko also insisted that Russia should surrender its newly incorporated regions, which Kiev says were illegally occupied. “There can be no alternative scenarios,” he said in a post on Facebook.
“Ceasefire without the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine will allow Russia to win time, regroup, fortify the occupied territories and accumulate forces for a new wave of aggression,” Nikolenko wrote.
Speaking at the Shangri-La Dialogue security forum in Singapore on Saturday, Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto suggested that both Russian and Ukrainian troops withdraw 15km (nearly 10 miles) from their current positions, creating a demilitarized zone that would be monitored by UN peacekeepers. He also proposed holding UN-sponsored referendums to determine the future “disputed” territories.
Moscow has so far not commented on the proposal. Russian officials stressed in the past that, in order to achieve a lasting peace, Ukraine must drop its bid to join NATO in favor of neutrality and recognize Russia’s recent territorial acquisitions. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday that there was “no basis” for meaningful negotiations at the moment because Kiev and the West “don’t have any political will to take into account our country’s goals and concerns.”
Earlier this year, China presented its own version of a roadmap for peace between Russia and Ukraine, which was also promptly rejected by Kiev.
Western officials have argued that Ukraine should negotiate with Russia on its own terms. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday that a ceasefire that would in any way benefit Moscow would not produce “a just and lasting peace.”
The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), as well as two other former Ukrainian territories – the Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions – became parts of Russia after holding referendums on the matter in September 2022. Crimea did the same in 2014, shortly after the Western-backed coup in Kiev.
Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring state in February 2022, citing the need to protect the people of Donbass and Kiev’s failure to implement the 2014-2015 Minsk peace accords.