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Reuters: Washington Post statement on possible Ukraine-Russia talks could be part of information warfare

8-11-2022 |

Ukraine denied on Tuesday that it was under Western pressure to negotiate with Russia, doubling down on its insistence that talks could take place only if Russia relinquishes all occupied territory.

The remarks came days after a high profile Washington Post report that the United States had encouraged Kyiv to signal willingness for talks. It also coincided with U.S. mid-term elections that could test Western support for Ukraine.

In an overnight address before he was due to address world leaders at a climate summit, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy recited what he called Ukraine's "completely understandable conditions" for peace talks.

"Once again - restoration of territorial integrity, respect for the U.N. Charter, compensation for all damages caused by the war, punishment of every war criminal and guarantees that this will not happen again."

Ukraine had repeatedly proposed such talks, but "we always received insane Russian responses with new terrorist attacks, shelling or blackmail", Zelenskiy said.

On Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov repeated Moscow's position that it is open to talks but that Kyiv was refusing them. Moscow has repeatedly said it will not negotiate over territory it claims to have annexed from Ukraine.

Zelenskiy's senior adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said it was absurd to suggest that Western countries would push Kyiv to negotiate on Moscow's terms, as they were the ones supplying Ukraine with the weapons to drive Russian forces off its land.

"Ukraine receives from its partners, first of all from the United States, quite effective weapons," he said in an interview with Radio Liberty. "We are pushing the Russian army out of territory. And against this background, forcing us to the negotiation process, and in fact to recognise the ultimatum of the Russian Federation, is nonsense! And no one will do that."

He said there was "no coercion" in Ukraine's relationship with Washington, and suggestions the West was pushing Ukraine to negotiate were part of Russia's "information programme", though he did not directly rebut the Washington Post report.

Source: Reuters