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20 Dec, 2023 12:46

Zelensky’s ‘peace formula’ is absurd – Kremlin

Discussing settlement of the Ukraine conflict without Moscow makes no sense, spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said
Zelensky’s ‘peace formula’ is absurd – Kremlin

The “peace formula” being promoted by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has no chance of success without Russia’s involvement, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has insisted.

Kiev and its Western backers have for months been discussing Zelensky’s so-called ten-point peace plan. This proposal includes calls for Russia to withdraw from all territories claimed by Kiev, for Moscow to pay reparations, and for the formation of a war crimes tribunal. Russian authorities instantly rejected the proposal as “unrealistic” and out-of-touch with the situation on the ground.

“One should open their eyes and look at the facts: They’re trying to search for a peace formula without Russia. To say the least, this is an absurd process. But, seriously, this is a process that has no potential of delivering any results,” Peskov told journalists on Wednesday.

The press secretary was commenting on claims made by Zelensky on Tuesday that “the issue of negotiations with Russia is not relevant at the moment.” The Ukrainian leader also said that Kiev has a “peace plan” and that it will be presented to Russia once “the corresponding document is ready and all states unite around it.” If Moscow “accepts it, it will signal its readiness to negotiate,” he stated.

Peskov said that the Russian side also believes that “the issue of negotiations is not relevant at the moment.” He argued that there’ve have been “no grounds” for talks between Moscow and Kiev “since Ukraine left the negotiating table at the insistence of Britain” after both sides met in Istanbul in late March 2022. London’s role in derailing the peace process was confirmed by the head of the Ukrainian delegation to these negotiations, David Arakhamia, in November, the spokesman reminded reporters.

The two sides have not talked to each other since their sit-down in Istanbul. Russia, which initially expressed optimism about the settlement of the conflict, later accused Ukraine of backtracking on all progress achieved in Türkiye, saying it had lost trust in Kiev’s negotiators.

According to Peskov, the chances of finding a settlement were reduced even further after “Ukraine basically legally prohibited any negotiations with the Russian side.” The spokesman was referring to a decree signed by President Zelensky last fall that forbids him from talking to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

Russia’s deputy UN ambassador, Dmitry Polyanskiy, said last week that Kiev had squandered its chances of a “favorable” agreement with Moscow. “Any possible deal now will be reflecting its capitulation,” he wrote on X (formerly Twitter.)

During his Q&A session on Thursday, Putin insisted that “there will be peace [in Ukraine] when we achieve our goals” that include “the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine, [as well as] its neutral status.”