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20 Sep, 2023 14:21

G7 believes Ukraine conflict will last until end of decade – Bloomberg

Members of the group must plan financially to continue support for Kiev during the protracted conflict, a senior official said
G7 believes Ukraine conflict will last until end of decade – Bloomberg

The Russia-Ukraine conflict may extend for another six to seven years, according to a senior G7 official who spoke with Bloomberg. The official emphasized that Kiev's allies will confront various challenges as they endeavor to sustain their support for Ukraine.

In an article released on Tuesday, multiple officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, indicated that the prolonged timeline resulted from Ukraine's much-heralded counteroffensive progressing slowly, which has led to “tempered expectations.”

Continuing to provide military and financial aid to Kiev for such a long conflict “won’t be easy,” said Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky. “It’ll put a lot of pressure on societies, on governments, through different elections in Europe,” he added, stressing that there has to be a “midterm strategy of long-term support to Ukraine.”

One top European official informed Bloomberg that even with the support provided, Ukraine will likely grapple with challenges stemming from insufficient Western weapons supplies and the escalating toll of manpower losses.

Regardless of this dire outlook, Kiev and its allies remain opposed to negotiations and are unwilling to accept any resolution that does not include the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from territories Ukraine claims as its own, the officials told the outlet.

Kiev, for its part, has consistently emphasized its unwillingness to make any territorial concessions to Russia as part of potential peace agreements. In an interview with CBS News on Sunday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky affirmed that despite the counteroffensive’s slow pace, Ukraine remains committed to it regardless of adverse weather conditions or other factors.

Ukraine initiated its offensive in June; however, territorial gains have proven elusive, with heavy casualties being the predominant outcome. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukraine has incurred substantial losses during this push, including over 71,000 troops, 543 tanks, and nearly 18,000 armored vehicles.

Last year, four former Ukrainian territories – the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and the Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions – voted to join Moscow after holding public referendums. Kiev and its allies have refused to recognize the votes, while Zelensky has signed a decree banning any negotiations with the current Russian leadership. 

Moscow, meanwhile, has repeatedly said that it has not closed the door on negotiations with Kiev but has urged the Ukrainian leadership to recognize the “realities on the ground.”

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