Ukraine Foreign Minister Aims For February Peace Summit

December 27, 2022

In an interview Monday, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said his country would like a peace summit at the United Nations by February—but he doesn’t see Russia taking part.

Speaking with the Associated Press (AP), Kuleba added that he’d like UN Secretary General António Guterres to act as summit mediator. 

“As the Secretary General has said many times in the past, he can only mediate if all parties want him to mediate,” UN associate spokesperson Florencia Soto Nino-Martinez replied to the AP.

In an interview Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia was ready to negotiate with all parties involved in the war that was sparked when Russia invaded Ukraine back on February 24—a statement Ukraine roundly rejected.

“Russia single-handedly attacked Ukraine and is killing citizens,” Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, tweeted. “Russia doesn’t want negotiations, but tries to avoid responsibility.”

Kuleba, in his interview with AP, repeated Ukraine’s stance that Putin must face a war crimes tribunal before Ukraine enters into direct talks with Moscow. 

He added, however, that other nations should feel free to engage with Russians, as happened when Turkey gained a grain agreement with Russia, for example. 

Last week, a Kremlin spokesman said that no Ukrainian peace plan can succeed without taking into account “the realities of today that can’t be ignored,” referring to Moscow’s demand that Ukraine recognize Russia’s sovereignty over the Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed in 2014, along with other territorial gains.

Kuleba’s interview with the AP came four days after Zelensky traveled to the U.S. and spoke before a joint session of Congress to make the case for continued American support for the Ukrainian military.

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