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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Zelensky’s peace plan ‘divorced from reality’ – Lavrov

Russia and China agree that any negotiations on the Ukraine conflict should take into account Moscow’s interests, the foreign minister has said

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s peace plan to end the conflict with Moscow is unrealistic and cannot serve as the basis for any future talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has argued. Speaking on Tuesday alongside his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, Lavrov said Beijing and Moscow agree that any negotiations must take into account Russia’s security concerns.

First presented in the autumn of 2022, Zelensky’s ten-point peace formula calls for a complete and unconditional withdrawal of Russian forces from all territories within Ukraine’s 1991 borders. The plan also envisages the creation of an international tribunal for Russian military commanders and the political leadership, as well as reparations.

Read more: Zelensky’s security chief insults senior Chinese diplomat

The Kremlin has signaled its readiness to engage in peace negotiations with Ukraine, but only if Kiev and its Western backers accept the “reality on the ground.”

Following talks with Wang in Beijing on Tuesday, Lavrov said China and Russia are on the same page regarding the “need to take into account the legitimate concerns of all parties involved, above all in the security sphere.”

“In this context, we, together with our Chinese colleagues, reiterated the conclusion on the futility of any international events that not only fail to consider Russia’s position, but ignore it completely,” the diplomat stressed.

Lavrov described Zelensky’s peace formula as an “absolutely hollow” ultimatum that is “divorced from reality.”

Read more: India supports ‘early end’ to Ukraine conflict – Modi to Zelensky

The Russian official also thanked China for its balanced stance and readiness to play a constructive role in ending the Ukraine conflict.

Last week, Lavrov hailed the 12-point peace initiative proposed by China in February 2023 as the “clearest” and most viable to date, saying that it is “based on an analysis of the reasons for current events and [seeks] to eliminate [their] root causes.”

The plan calls for the cessation of hostilities in Ukraine, the resumption of peace talks, the abandonment of a “Cold War mentality,” and respect for the sovereignty of all nations.

In March, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told RIA Novosti that Ukraine should accept that the “geopolitical reality has changed dramatically since the beginning of the special military operation. The borders of both Ukraine and the Russian Federation have changed.”

Peskov was referring to referendums held by Moscow in the Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions in the fall of 2022, which saw the vast majority of local residents vote in favor of joining Russia.