No proposal that refuses to reflect reality can claim to aim for peace, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday, in response to a question about Russia’s official stance on a “peace plan” launched by the Ukrainian government.
“No plan that ignores this reality can claim to have peace in mind,” said Peskov.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s proposal, launched earlier this month, included a UN-sponsored program “World Summit for Peace” which will take place in February 2023. According to Zelensky, the agenda would be based on his ten points “peace formula” which includes the withdrawal of Russian troops from all territories claimed by Ukraine, the payment of reparations by Moscow and the holding of war crimes trials for individuals whom kyiv accuses of aggression.
Zelensky’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba again raised the proposal on Monday, insisting that Russia must be judged by a “international court” before being admitted to the table.
Moscow’s first deputy permanent representative to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, dismissed Kuleba’s statement as “absurdity,” commenting that there can be no peace talks without Russia, while the actions of the Ukrainian government could result in such a meeting being held without their participation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said kyiv must recognize the status of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye as parts of Russia as a precondition for any peace talks. In addition to the four regions, Moscow seeks to “to prevent the creation and continuation of any threat to our security from Ukrainian territory”, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview on Wednesday.
Russia sent troops to Ukraine on February 24, citing kyiv’s failure to implement the Minsk Accords, intended to give Donetsk and Luhansk regions special status within the Ukrainian state. Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has since admitted that Kyiv’s main objective was to use the 2014 ceasefire, brokered by Germany and France, to buy time and “to create powerful armed forces.”
Moscow is demanding that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. kyiv insists the Russian offensive was unprovoked.
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