Russia’s Lavrov tells newspaper that Ukraine peace plan is pointless

Russia’s Lavrov tells newspaper that Ukraine peace plan is pointless
Russia’s Lavrov tells newspaper that Ukraine peace plan is pointless

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Lavrov told the Moscow daily Izvestia that a proposed peace summit would not succeed until its fundamental bases were changed, including allowing Russia to participate. — Reuters pic

MOSCOW, March 29 — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in an interview published on Friday, said Ukraine’s proposed peace plan was pointless as it was based on unacceptable notions like Moscow’s withdrawal from areas it has captured.

Lavrov told the Moscow daily Izvestia that a proposed peace summit would not succeed until its fundamental bases were changed, including allowing Russia to participate.

“We are in any case ready to hold discussions but not on the bases of (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelenskiy’s ‘peace formula’,” Lavrov told the daily.

“How could any serious politician in Washington, Brussels, London, Paris or Berlin say that there is no alternative to the Zelenskiy formula?” he said.

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Lavrov dismissed as unacceptable the plan’s provisions, which call for Russia to withdraw from territory it has captured, including Crimea, annexed in 2014, and the restoration of Ukraine’s 1991 post-Soviet borders. It also calls for a means to bring Russia to account for its February 2022 invasion.

Zelenskiy rejects any notion of negotiations with Moscow on any basis other than the peace plan.

Lavrov said he had met officials and diplomats from Switzerland who had assured him that a peace summit which Bern has agreed to host would include Russian participation and be conducted on realistic terms.

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He said Swiss officials had told him “we understand that nothing can be solved without you, that’s unfair.” And once the plan was turned into a “collective product”, Russia would be invited.

Lavrov also said US proposals to discuss arms deals, uncoupling the issue from the Ukraine conflict, made little sense.

“It is a joke and does not reflect well on those in the Administration in Washington dealing with foreign policy,” he told Izvestia. “All this boils down to the fact that foreign policy in the United States is being directed by people who don’t know how to engage in diplomacy.” — Reuters

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