Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told The Associated Press on Monday that Russia must face a tribunal for alleged war crimes in Ukraine before direct peace talks can be held between Kyiv and Moscow.
The comments are the latest sign that there’s no end in sight to the fighting in Ukraine, as Russia would never comply with Kuleba’s conditions, and the US continues to escalate military aid and other kinds of support for Kyiv.
For his part, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Sunday that Moscow is prepared to negotiate an end to the war and that Ukraine and its Western backers were not. “We are ready to negotiate with everyone involved about acceptable solutions, but that is up to them — we are not the ones refusing to negotiate, they are,” he said.
Kuleba said that his country was hoping for a “peace” summit hosted by the UN to be held soon the get other countries on the same page, but Kyiv doesn’t want Russia to participate unless all of Ukraine’s conditions are met.
“The United Nations could be the best venue for holding this summit, because this is not about making a favor to a certain country,” Kuleba said. “This is really about bringing everyone on board.”
Another Ukrainian demand for talks with Russia is for Russian forces to withdraw from all the territory that’s been captured since the invasion. But Putin and other Russian officials have made clear that won’t happen and say Kyiv needs to recognize the “realities” on the ground.
After Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Washington DC last week and President Biden pledged to support Ukraine for “as long as it takes,” Russian officials said it showed the US wasn’t interested in peace.