The Kremlin on Friday rejected a proposal made by Russian ally Belarus to hold peace talks with kyiv to address the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko called for a “truce” in Ukraine and urged Russia to hold peace talks “without preconditions”, but the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed those calls when he told reporters that “nothing is changing in the context of Ukraine,” according to The Moscow Times, an Amsterdam-based independent online publication.
While Western nations continue to provide military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, Russian allies including China and Belarus have not condemned the 13-month war but are calling for a resolution. However, Russia shows no willingness to end the war.
“The special military operation continues, as this is the only way to achieve the goals that our country has today,” Peskov said on Friday.
Lukashenko, staunch supporter of the Russian president Vladimir Putinwarned on Friday against an escalation of the war, The Moscow Times reported.
“We must stop now, before an escalation begins. I will risk suggesting an end to hostilities… a declaration of truce,” Lukashenko said during a televised address. “All territorial, reconstruction, security and other issues can and should be resolved at the negotiating table, without preconditions.”
In a similar attempt at peace and conflict resolution, China called for peace talks, but its proposal was undermined by Ukrainian lawmakers after chinese president Xi Jinping he showed a sense of unity with Putin in the face of Western pressure during his recent visit to Moscow.
ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday he renewed his vow to defeat Putin’s troops, according to The Moscow Times.
“The battle for the foundation of the free world is taking place on Ukrainian soil. We will definitely win,” Zelensky said during a visit to the city of Bucha in the Kiev region.
Bucha was the scene of alleged war crimes committed by Russian troops withdrawing from the city. The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin this month for alleged war crimes. Russia has denied the allegations.
“Russian evil will fall right here in the Ukraine and will not be able to rise again,” Zelensky added.
news week contacted the Russian Foreign Ministry by email for comment.