Ukraine peace talks without Russia will fail, Kremlin spokesman says

By Thomson Reuters Mar 25, 2024 | 10:12 PM

(Reuters) – Any global peace summit on Ukraine that excludes Russia is simply “absurd” and will fail, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in an interview published on Tuesday.

Peskov also told the news outlet Argumenty I Fakty that Russia was pursuing its two-year-old war on Ukraine to protect itself from the West.

“Can the Ukrainian problem be resolved without Russia’s participation? The reply is clear – it cannot,” Peskov said in the interview conducted last Thursday, a day before the mass shooting at a concert hall outside Moscow.

“Because Ukraine has been turned into an instrument in the hands of the collective West with whose help it intends, so it seems to them, to put more pressure on Russia, restrain Russia and abandon it to the fringes of development. And, should they succeed, to finish it off,” he added.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has called for an international peace summit, and earlier this year Switzerland said it would host the meeting, and that a date and the details were being discussed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has already denounced as unworkable a Ukrainian peace plan calling for the withdrawal of Russian troops and the restoration of Kyiv’s 1991 borders, including Crimea, seized and annexed by Russia in 2014.

Peskov reiterated that the plan was unthinkable, and also denounced plans discussed by the European Union and other countries to take control of profits from Russian assets and turn them over to Ukraine.

“I believe the Europeans understand that we will challenge such a decision. This is possibly a question not over a single year, but, rather decades,” he said.

(Reporting by Ron Popeski; editing by Miral Fahmy)