Moscow has repeatedly emphasized its readiness to sit down with Kiev “without preliminary conditions,” while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has ruled out any talks as long as Vladimir Putin remains Russia’s president.
French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to start considering peace talks with Russia, a US newspaper has cited unnamed sources as saying.
The sources claimed that the offer was made when the three leaders met earlier this month at the Elysee Palace in Paris, where Macron delivered “a more sober message, telling Mr. Zelensky that even mortal enemies like France and Germany had to make peace after World War II.”
According to the insiders, the French president also said that even though Zelensky “had been a great war leader,” he “would eventually have to shift into political statesmanship and make difficult decisions.”
The newspaper reported that the sources “were careful to say that any decision on when and under what conditions any peace talks start is entirely up to Ukraine.” The paper quoted UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as claiming that the West should give Ukraine arms that would give it a “decisive advantage” on the battlefield, including warplanes, to prompt Kiev to sit at the negotiating table.
The report comes as Beijing released a 12-point document titled “China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis,” promoting, among other things, respect of the sovereignty of all countries, the cessation of hostilities and the resumption of peace talks between Moscow and Kiev.
The Russian Foreign Ministry responded that Russia values China’s sincere desire to contribute to the peaceful settlement of the conflict in Ukraine. “We share Beijing’s views,” the ministry said in a statement.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in turn, said that he plans to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to discuss Beijing’s proposals. Zelensky previously stated that Kiev would not negotiate with Moscow as long as Vladimir Putin remains the Russian president. The Russian Foreign Ministry underscored earlier this month that Moscow is ready for peace negotiations with Ukraine, but without preliminary conditions and “on the basis of the reality that currently exists.”