Zelensky’s office: negotiating with Russia is tantamount to capitulation
Ukrainian Presidential Adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said during an interview with French news agency AFP that beginning negotiations with Russia now, given the current situation at the front, would amount to capitulation.
“When you have the initiative on the battlefield, it’s a little strange to receive suggestions like, ‘You can’t do everything by military means, you need to negotiate,’” said Podolyak.
According to him, starting negotiations now would mean that the country “which is winning back its territory should capitulate to the country that’s losing.”
In early November, the Washington Post reported that the US asked Ukraine to publicly demonstrate willingness to negotiate with Russia. After that, according to Politico sources, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky changed his position on negotiating with Russia.
Podolyak says that Moscow has “made no direct invitation” to Kyiv about peaceful negotiations, because “Russia doesn’t want negotiations.” He believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin thinks, as before, that “he can wipe out Ukraine, it’s his obsession.” Podolyak doesn’t think that negotiating with him “makes sense.”
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On November 17, Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said that “the Ukrainian side doesn’t want any negotiations,” reports Interfax. A Kremlin representative also said that Russia is carrying out strikes on infrastructure targets connected to “Ukraine’s military potential.” According to him, Ukrainian households have no light because of “the Ukrainian side’s unwillingness to resolve the problem and come to the negotiating table.”
Russian troops have been shelling Ukraine’s energy infrastructure for several weeks. Almost 50 percent of Ukraine’s energy system is offline, said Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal on November 18.