A Kyiv official accused Moscow of trying to reduce Ukraine to ‘destroyed territory’ in which ‘nobody would be interested’
Russian forces have almost completely destroyed the Ukrainian defense industry and are “to finish” the civilian, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Alexey Arestovich, said.
Commenting on the latest round of negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow, which took place in Istanbul on Tuesday, Arestovich stressed that everything “large-scale military aggression and a peace agreement are always compromises between the parties.”
“Because both parties suffer losses. If you think we are not taking losses, you are deeply mistaken. They have virtually destroyed our military industry and in many ways are finishing it off. And in many ways they finish off the civilian, deliberately destroying it,” he explained.
He claimed that Russia’s goal was to reduce Ukraine to a state where “nobody would be interested” inside “,like a destroyed territory.
“This is exactly what they do and will continue to do“, he underlined.
Russia insists it did not target civilian targets and accuses “Ukrainian nationalists“to use civilians as”human shield.”
In Arestovich’s view, the recent round of negotiations marked “a significant victoryof Ukrainian diplomacy. The presidential adviser claimed that kyiv had not made any compromises and, conversely, had improved its position”in all lines of negotiation. He explained that before the Istanbul meeting, Ukraine was “a neutral state, without any guarantee, doubly deceived.”
“Warranties now appear. Many countries – United States, United Kingdom, Poland, all permanent members of the UN Security Council, many other countries, China is being considered, Turkey – all these countries have agreed to give us guarantees. And this is not in 1994, when no one believed in a war in Ukraine, but now, after the war, they understand that it can repeat itself, and yet they offer guaranteessaid Arestovitch.
However, in apparent contradiction to Arestovich’s claims, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield, when asked on Wednesday about Washington’s readiness to serve as a security guarantor for kyiv, said there was no nothing “specific“she could share”right now,“even if the U.S. government was”in constant discussion with the Ukrainians.”
The German authorities, for their part, confirmed that Ukraine could “100%” count on their support in terms of security guarantees. The country’s Foreign Ministry, Annalena Baerbock, however, stressed that at this stage the negotiations between Ukraine and Russia had not made sufficient progress and that Kyiv and Moscow’s understanding of the proposals could therefore be entirely different.
The round of talks between Ukraine and Russia in Istanbul on Tuesday was seen by many as an important step towards reaching an agreement.
Moscow attacked its neighbor in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements signed in 2014, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. The protocols negotiated by Germany and France were designed to regularize the status of these regions within the Ukrainian state.
Russia has now demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. kyiv insists the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied claims it planned to retake the two republics by force.