Russia ‘Not Serious’ About Peace Talks

Russia 'Not Serious' About Peace Talks
Russia's chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a visit with a firearms maker. | Image by Reuters

As the conflict between Russia and Ukraine enters its sixth week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy does not see an end in sight. In an address to the Spanish parliament on Tuesday, he stated he believes Russia “is not serious about peace.”

“We, Ukrainians, are committed to peace and a conflict-free environment,” Zelenskyy stated in his address. “Ukraine speaks about it every day. Every day throughout the days of this invasion. But the war continues. Russia is not serious about peace.”

On the Russian side, the Kremlin’s chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky posted a message on the social media website Telegram.

The message reads in part, “The Ukrainian side became more realistic in approaching the issues related to Ukraine’s neutral and non-nuclear status, but the draft of the agreement is not ready to be presented at the top-level meeting.”

Medinsky’s post also reiterates Russia’s insistence that Ukraine recognizes the Crimean Peninsula as a Russian possession and the independence of the Donbas region, which is currently controlled by a separatist movement and whose desire for freedom was reportedly the impetus for the current military action.

In response to the conflict and alleged atrocities committed by Russian soldiers in the Bucha region, the United States and other Western governments have increased sanctions on Russian banks, companies, and the families of government leaders.

“Today, the United States, with the G7 and the European Union, will continue to impose severe and immediate economic costs on the Putin regime for its atrocities in Ukraine, including in Bucha. We will document and share information on these atrocities and use all appropriate mechanisms to hold accountable those responsible,” said the White House in an official press release on Wednesday.

The release mentions President Putin’s adult daughters and the wife and children of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as “having enriched themselves at the expense of the Russian people.” It further states that the United States would freeze all American-held assets owned by those listed to isolate Russia from the global economy further.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley told Congress last month that the war, which President Putin had been planning for a decade, could last several years, and the “U.S. military could have prevented it.”

There is little indication that the United States is interested in joining the conflict on the Ukraine side. President Biden recently announced that an additional $100 million in military aid has been approved and will be sent to Ukraine for Javelin anti-armor systems.

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