Russia says some in the West are hinting at looking for peace in Ukraine

MOSCOW: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday (Dec 28) that some in the West were suggesting that Moscow should discuss peace in Ukraine because the United States and its allies had failed to defeat Russian forces in Ukraine.

Nearly two years into Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Moscow controls about 17.5 per cent of Ukrainian territory and a Ukrainian counter-offensive this year has failed to win any major territorial gains against Russian forces who have defended the front with extensive minefields and swarms of drones.

Lavrov, in an interview with the RIA state news agency and the Rossiya 24 TV channel, said there were signs that the West was changing its tactics and strategy on Ukraine.

“The West is really changing its tactics – maybe even thinking about clarifying the strategy. Because if the ‘strategic defeat of Russia’ is a strategy, forgive the tautology, then this strategy failed miserably,” Lavrov said.

“There are some approaches, some whispers: why don’t you (Russia) meet with someone in Europe who would be ready to talk, talk about Ukraine without Ukraine itself,” said Lavrov, who also reiterated that Moscow would achieve all its goals in Ukraine.

President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said he is ready to talk about peace in Ukraine but on Russia’s terms. US officials have said they think he is waiting for the 2024 US presidential election before making any serious move towards peace.

Ukraine says it will not rest until every last Russian soldier is ejected from its territory as defined in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed. The West says it will not push Ukraine towards peace.

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