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Tue, 02/27/2024 - 16:48
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Moscow says plans to present Ukraine’s peace formula to Russia an ‘ultimatum’

by Burc Eruygur


EU advises Ukrainian President Zelenskyy to hold ‘gatherings’ around his peace formula, invite 'as many countries as possible,' says Russian foreign minister

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday that plans to present Moscow with the peace formula proposed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is an “ultimatum.”

“He (Zelenskyy) said that this would not be considered negotiations, but a normal person understands that this is an ultimatum. … They are trying to attract as many countries as possible to various events to discuss this paper,” Lavrov said told a news conference in Moscow with his Yemeni counterpart Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak.

Lavrov claimed that "a good comrade" of his showed him the EU's advice given to Zelenskyy about his peace formula in organizing such gatherings that the main advice is to “gather as many countries as possible” and “promise anything to get them to come.”

He argued that the second advice is not to distribute any draft documents in such meetings “under any circumstances” and to include a “family photograph” in documents to show support for Zelenskyy's peace formula.

“The more people there are in this photograph, the more convincing, they believe, will be the explanation that Russia, therefore, is now opposed to all progressive humanity,” Lavrov also said, adding that the basis from which Switzerland and other Western countries are ready to work on a settlement in Ukraine is “absolutely a dead end.”

On Sunday, Zelenskyy said the document devised during the upcoming Global Peace Summit on his 10-step peace formula will be presented to Russia, but this does not necessarily mean it will be accepted by them.

Zelenskyy's formula, comprising 10 conditions, was laid out at the 2022 G20 summit held in Indonesia, with its final step being signing a peace accord. It also focuses on issues such as nuclear safety and food and energy security.

Speaking about the meeting on support for Ukraine held in Paris on Monday, Lavrov also called plans voiced by French President Emmanuel Macron to create a coalition of countries to supply long-range missiles to Kyiv as "suicidal."

He also said to not "attach great importance" to such meetings, arguing that the aim of these talks is to "compensate for the sharp drop in attention and the sharp reduction in financial opportunities to support" Ukraine.

'Solving security in Red Sea must be solved through political, diplomatic means'

Lavrov also touched on the situation in the Red Sea, saying that ensuring the safety of international navigation in the Red Sea should be a task resolved through political and diplomatic means.

"We agree with our Yemeni friends that ensuring the safety of international navigation in the Red Sea should be a priority for all responsible members of the international community, and this task must be resolved through political and diplomatic means," Lavrov said.

Lavrov further said the increase of tension in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden is largely a result of the "unprecedented escalation" of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the ongoing civil war in Yemen.

He also said Russia does not condone the shelling of commercial ships irrespective of their justification, but that it cannot justify the US' and the UK's "aggressive actions" against the territory of Yemen.

Expressing that the two countries conducted these actions "without having any international mandate for this in the form of a UN Security Council resolution," Lavrov went on to say Moscow is concerned that it is unlikely to implement the Yemeni settlement until the end of the armed conflict in the Red Sea.