Russian officials on Thursday said that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to Washington DC on Wednesday showed that the US isn’t interested in ending the war in Ukraine.
“The talks in Washington showed that neither Ukraine nor the United States seeks peace. They are simply determined to continue fighting,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
During a joint press conference with President Biden, Zelensky said that he wouldn’t make “compromises” to reach a “just peace.” The Ukrainian leader mentioned a peace proposal he put forward, but it calls for the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Ukrainian territories Moscow has captured, which is a non-starter for talks with Russia.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the new US aid packages for Ukraine will drag out the war. During Zelensky’s visit, the US announced a new $1.85 billion weapons package for Ukraine that includes a Patriot missile system for the first time. The funds are coming from aid that has already been authorized for Ukraine, but Congress is expected to pass a new $45 billion tranche of aid this week.
“This is not conducive to a speedy settlement, quite the contrary. And this cannot prevent the Russian Federation from achieving its goals during the special military operation,” Peskov said.
The Kremlin spokesman added that there were no signs of a willingness to “listen to Russia’s concerns” during Zelensky’s visit. He said this showed that the US was willing to fight a proxy war against Russia down to “the last Ukrainian.”
Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador to the US, made similar comments about Zelensky’s address to Congress. “What was essentially announced to applause and sarcastic smirks, was the need to continue the proxy war against our country,” he said.
Antonov warned that the new US military aid is “leading to an escalation, the consequences of which cannot even be imagined.”