Fri, August 19, 2022

international

Ukrainian negotiator rules out ceasefire or concessions to Russia


Ukraine on Saturday ruled out agreeing to a ceasefire with Russia and said Kyiv would not accept any deal with Moscow that involved ceding territory.

Acknowledging that Kyiv's stance on the war was becoming more uncompromising, presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said making concessions would backfire on Ukraine because Russia would hit back harder after any break in fighting.

"Any concession to the Russian Federation would instantly lead to an escalation of the war. So the war will not stop. It will just be put on pause for some time," he told Reuters in an interview in the heavily guarded presidential office, where some of the windows and corridors are protected by sandbags.

"After a while, with renewed intensity, the Russians will build up their weapons, and manpower and work on their mistakes, modernise a little, fire many generals... And they'll start a new offensive, even more, bloody and large scale, taking into account all mistakes.”

Podolyak dismissed as "very strange" calls in the West for an urgent ceasefire that would involve Russian forces remaining in a territory they have occupied in Ukraine's south and east.

Both sides say peace talks have stagnated. Each blames the other.

Thousands of people have been killed, millions have been displaced and towns and cities have been devastated since Russia invaded on Feb. 24.

Russia says it has taken full control of the southern city of Mariupol in what it calls its "special military operation" in Ukraine, but its invasion has stalled in other areas and Ukraine has been bolstered by increasing arms supplies from its allies.

A ceasefire would play into the Kremlin's hands, Podolyak said.

"They want to lock in some kind of military success. Certainly, they are not going to have military successes, given the help that our Western partners are giving to us now," he said.

"It would be good if European and American elites understood to the end that Russia can't be left halfway, because we will fuel their revanchist moods, they will be even more violent in two-three years, they will hate us even worse, not only us, Ukraine, they will hate the whole Western world. They already hate it now."

Published : May 22, 2022

By : Reuters