Day 307: Ukraine Aims for UN-Backed Peace Summit by End of February

In an interview with the Associated Press, Ukraine's foreign minister Dmytro Kuelba said his country wants a UN-backed peace summit — mediated by Sec. General António Guterres — by the end of February, on or near the one-year anniversary of the war.

Day 307: Ukraine Aims for UN-Backed Peace Summit by End of February
Image credit: AP Photos [via AP News]

Facts

  • In an interview with the Associated Press, Ukraine's foreign minister Dmytro Kuelba said his country wants a UN-backed peace summit — mediated by Sec. General António Guterres — by the end of February, on or near the one-year anniversary of the war.
  • However, Kuelba said he doesn't envision Russia taking part, given that one of Ukraine's requirements is that Russia faces a war-crimes tribunal before Kyiv directly engages with Moscow. Kuelba said other countries should feel free to engage directly with Russia.
  • Meanwhile, Kuelba also dismissed Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin's comments that Moscow is ready to engage in peace talks. "They regularly say that they are ready for negotiations, which is not true, because everything they do on the battlefield proves the opposite," Kuelba said.
  • In separate comments with Russian news agency TASS, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov also demonstrated the gulf of opinion between the two countries.
  • Lavrov said: "Our proposals for the demilitarization and denazification of the territories controlled by the regime, the elimination of threats to Russia's security emanating from there, including our new lands, are well known to the enemy. The point is simple: Fulfil them for your own good. Otherwise, the issue will be decided by the Russian army."
  • Meanwhile, there's been no let up in fighting, namely in the Donbas region of Donetsk. Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelenskyy said: "The situation there is difficult, acute. The occupiers are using all the resources available to them — and these are significant resources — to squeeze out at least some advance." Ukrainian officials said two civilians were injured in Russian attacks on Donetsk in the past day. Pro-Russia officials also said two civilians were injured in Ukrainian attacks.
  • Elsewhere, Ukrainian officials said one civilian was killed in Russian attacks on Kharkiv while one person was injured in Kherson. The region of Sumy was also shelled without reports of civilian casualties.

Sources: Associated Press, US News, President, and Ukrinform.

Narratives

  • Narrative A, as provided by Bulwark. As the White House and others have noted, any peace settlement should come on Ukraine's terms. This includes restoration of territorial integrity, compensation and war-crimes prosecutions. It should also come with meaningul security guarantees to prevent future Russian aggression.
  • Narrative B, as provided by Politico. A sober analysis shows Ukraine is unlikely to drive Russian troops from all its territory. The longer the war goes on, the worse it gets for Ukraine, while increasing the chances of a hot war between Russia, the US, and NATO. The Biden administration has a duty to try and find a negotiated end to the war.

Predictions