Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Monday that the embattled country wants to hold a peace summit at the United Nations by the end of February, but that Russia should first face a war crimes tribunal in an international court.
“Every war ends in a diplomatic way. Every war ends as a result of the actions taken on the battlefield and at the negotiating table,” Kuleba told the Associated Press on Monday. “The United Nations could be the best venue for holding this summit because this is not about making a favor to a certain country.”
Kuleba suggested that United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres could serve as the mediator at a potential peace summit.
At the G20 summit last month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy laid out a 10-point peace plan, which would include the release of all prisoners of war, the withdrawal of Russian forces, the cessation of hostilities, nuclear safety, and the “establishment of the Special Tribunal regarding the crime of Russia’s aggression.”
In reference to a war crimes tribunal, Kuleba said that Russia “can only be invited to this step in this way.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed in an interview with state television on Sunday that Moscow is willing to negotiate, but that Kyiv has refused any peace talks thus far.
“We are ready to negotiate with everyone involved about acceptable solutions, but that is up to them. We are not the ones refusing to negotiate, they are,” Putin said in the interview.
Earlier this month, Russia declared that they were open to negotiations, but also said that they would not pull out of Ukraine.
“The president of the Russian Federation has always been, is and remains open to negotiations in order to ensure our interests,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters at the time.
Zelenskyy tweeted on Monday that he discussed the “peace formula” with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has, in recent months, been working to establish a stronger partnership with Russia.
The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, which was established by the United Nations Human Rights Council, concluded in October that an “array of war crimes, violations of human rights and international humanitarian law have been committed in Ukraine.”
The committee said that while the “vast majority” of these violations had been committed by Russian Troops, Ukrainian soldiers, “have also committed international humanitarian law violations in some cases.”
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