Kiev not against peace negotiations with Moscow: Ukrainian FM
The Ukrainian Foreign Minister claims that no Western nation can pressure Ukraine "against its interests."
Kiev has no objections to talks with Russia, according to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Friday.
"Ukraine is not against negotiations. [Ukrainian President] Volodymyr Zelensky at the G20 summit spoke about 'world peace' and expressed the will to achieve it," the Minister said in an interview for the French newspaper Le Parisien.
For the talks to take place, Russia must stop "confusing negotiations with an ultimatum," according to Kuleba, adding that no Western leader, including French President Emmanuel Macron, will be able to force Ukraine to negotiate against its interests.
"A just peace begins with the full restoration of Ukraine's territorial integrity,” the diplomat added.
In a video message to the G20 summit on November 15, Zelensky stated that Kiev does not want to sign a peace agreement that is detrimental to Ukraine's interests and that Moscow will "violate immediately after the conclusion."
Commenting on Zelensky's statement, Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said this "absolutely confirms" Kiev's refusal to negotiate.
On November 24, addressing Ukraine's stance from the talks, the Russian Permanent Representative to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, said, "So far, what we hear from Mr. Zelensky and his allies cannot be interpreted as readiness for peace but is rather a language of reckless threats and ultimatums. Kiev’s Western sponsors only encourage such an irresponsible course, since they are interested in a war on the Ukrainian territory until the last Ukrainian as it makes it possible for their defense sector to derive colossal profit and test NATO weapons."
Earlier this month, multiple reports emerged about the US pressuring Ukraine to be open to peace talks with Russia, with a top Pentagon official saying that Kiev's forces will find it hard to recover all the territory Russia has controlled during the war.
Read more: US, albeit covertly, wants Kiev to show interest in talks with Russia
US Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley said on November 19 that the US and allied support has not diminished but considered that Kiev's defense puts it in a better position to begin talks.
"The probability of a Ukrainian military victory, defined as kicking the Russians out of all of Ukraine, to include ... Crimea, the probability of that happening anytime soon is not high, militarily," he indicated.
"There may be a political solution where, politically, the Russians withdraw, that's possible," he added, pointing out that "you want to negotiate from a position of strength. Russia right now is on its back."