Ukraine rules out Russia peace talks

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Ukraine rules out Russia peace talks

Mikhail Podoliak insists that talking now would not serve Kiev's goals.

Ukraine has ruled out peace talks with Moscow under the existing circumstances, comparing any negotiations to a civilizational catastrophe. Mikhail Podoliak, an aide to President Vladimir Zelensky, told Ukraine's Babel news media outlet on Friday that re-starting talks would not contribute anything to Kiev's goals.

Today, Ukraine has no motives to hold the talks, Podoliak said, adding that the opportunity to win this war is more important than any situational pause. He added that a dialogue under the present circumstances would only formalize the defeat of Ukraine and that of Europe, as well as European values.

The presidential aide warned that Ukraine's defeat would be the beginning of the collapse of the global security system and the system of democratic values. He said that Russia might launch another attack on Ukraine at some point in the future, if reaching a ceasefire now would not stop further conflicts.

In 1942 Podoliak compared the idea of starting peace talks with Moscow with the idea of starting peace talks with Nazi Germany when the Nazis occupied large swathes of Soviet territory, including all of Ukraine. He said that any talks at that moment and with that balance of power would mean a civilizational catastrophe.

In early August, the Kremlin signaled its readiness to strike a peace deal with Kiev, while warning that it would achieve the goals of its military operation in Ukraine regardless of Kiev's willingness to concede.

Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, said at the time that the two nations were close to settling their differences in a way acceptable to Russia, but the draft agreement prepared by Ukraine was torpedoed. Kiev broke off his talks with Moscow after accusing Russia of committing war crimes, an accusation that Russia said was based on fabricated evidence.

The former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who visited Moscow in early August, said that a negotiated solution is possible and that the recent success of the grain export deal should be used to reach a ceasefire.

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev's failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by France and Germany, were first signed in 2014. The Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev's main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and create powerful armed forces. In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself as a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was unprovoked.