(FiveNation.com)- During his nightly televised address on Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky once again reiterated the conditions under which Ukraine would agree to peace talks with Russia.
Zelensky gave an update on the status of the ongoing war in Ukraine and insisted that countries focus on ending Russia’s aggression before turning their attention to other global issues like climate change and the food crisis.
He said if countries are serious about climate change, they should also be serious about stopping Russian aggression and restoring Ukraine’s “territorial integrity.” He added that they should also force Moscow into “real” peace talks.
Zelensky said Ukraine had previously tried to engage in peace talks with Russia but was met with only further aggression. He then reiterated Ukraine’s five conditions before a successful end to the conflict can be negotiated.
He demanded the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, compensation for the damages caused by Russia’s war, punishment for Russian war criminals, respect for the UN Charter, and “guarantees that this will not happen again.”
In a tweet on Monday, Mykhailo Podolya, an advisor to President Zelensky, said Ukraine has never refused a negotiated end to the conflict. He noted that its long-standing position has been that Ukraine would only negotiate after Russian troops are withdrawn from the country.
Podolya also said Putin is not prepared to engage in peace talks, adding that it is his constructive assessment that Ukraine will “talk with the next leader” of Russia.
Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported that National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan had been holding undisclosed talks with top Russian officials in the hope of reducing the risk that the war in Ukraine moves beyond its borders or escalates into a nuclear conflict.
Citing unnamed US and allied officials, the Journal reported that in recent months, Sullivan held confidential talks with Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov as well as Sullivan’s Russian counterpart, Security Council secretary Nikolai Patrushev, but these talks were never publicly disclosed.
National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson refused to comment on the report, saying in a statement to the Wall Street Journal, “People claim a lot of things.”
The Biden administration has long maintained that any peace talks should be held between Moscow and Kyiv.