Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Wednesday reaffirmed Kyiv’s position that it’s against the idea of pausing the fighting in Ukraine to foster peace talks between the warring sides.
“If anyone thinks they should freeze the conflict and then see how to solve it, they don’t understand it,” Kuleba said during an online briefing with African journalists, according to Reuters.
Kuleba recently completed a tour of Africa, and a group of African leaders is expected to visit Moscow and Kyiv to put forward peace proposals. The plan was first announced by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, and the initiative will be led by Senegalese President Macky Sall.
Kuleba said there’s no date set yet for when the African heads of state will visit Kyiv. Ukraine will likely dismiss any peace proposal as Ukrainian officials have maintained negotiations can’t happen until a complete Russian withdrawal and their position is backed by the US.
Last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken rejected calls for a ceasefire and said the US must focus on building up Ukraine’s military. But more non-aligned countries have been increasing their calls for diplomacy in the conflict, including Indonesia, which offered an idea for a peace plan during the recent Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.
Indonesia’s defense minister suggested freezing the conflict along the current battle lines, establishing a demilitarized zone, and holding UN-sponsored referendums in disputed areas. His suggestion was quickly rejected by Ukraine, which called the idea a “Russian plan.”