Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday addressed the summit of G20 leaders in Indonesia via video link and told the group not to ask Ukraine to compromise to reach a peace deal with Russia.
Zelensky referred to the group as the “G19” in a snub aimed at Russia, as Moscow is a member of the G20. “Ukraine should not be offered to conclude compromises with its conscience, sovereignty, territory and independence. We respect the rules and we are people of our word,” the Ukrainian leader said, according to POLITICO.
Zelensky said that there would be no “Minsk 3,” referring to Minsk 1 and Minsk 2, agreements that failed to end the civil war in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region. The war in the Donbas was sparked by the US-backed 2014 coup that ousted former President Viktor Yanukovych. In response to the change in power, separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of the Donbas declared independence from Kyiv.
Under the Minsk agreements that were brokered by France and Germany, Kyiv agreed to cede autonomy to the Donbas separatists and the territory would remain a part of Ukraine, but the accord was never fully implemented. In response to Zelensky’s speech, the Kremlin said that his comments that there will be no “Minsk 3” show that he’s not serious about negotiating.
Zelensky’s speech came after Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said that this winter will provide an opportunity for peace talks that should be “seized.” But other members of the Biden administration don’t agree with Milley, and the US reportedly assured Ukraine that peace talks with Russia don’t need to happen.
There has been more talk of diplomacy since Russia withdrew from the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson. But Ukrainian officials say they want to expel Russia from all of the territory it has captured, including Crimea, which Moscow has controlled since 2014.