Kyiv should decide for itself when and under what conditions it should negotiate with Russia, said the head of the European Council Charles Michel
“Ukraine is a sovereign state, and it is she who must determine when the situation will lead her to this (negotiations with the Russian Federation. – RT ), what the parameters of an agreement on peace and security will be,” he said on the radio station France Inter.
According to him, “neither the European Union, nor the G7, nor the United States has the right to decide what points the Ukrainians should agree to and what concessions the Ukrainians should make.” At the same time, Charles Michel added that the EU is doing everything so that Kyiv does not have to make concessions.
“We provide tremendous support to Ukrainians financially, militarily and politically,” the politician said.
Earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke about the possibility of achieving peace in Ukraine during the negotiation process.
“Peace is possible in the future, at some point it will come,” he said, speaking at the opening of the international forum “Proclamation to Peace”.
The French leader added that negotiations would become possible when the Ukrainian side decides on the conditions on which it is ready to conduct them. In his opinion, a peaceful settlement of the conflict should be achieved on the terms of Kyiv.
“At some point, given the events, when the Ukrainians and their leaders decide on the terms, it will be possible to build a peace agreement with the other side,” Macron said.
The French leader has made such statements before. So, on October 12, in an interview with France 2, he said that negotiations would be necessary at a certain stage.
“At some point, it will be necessary for all the parties involved to sit down at the negotiating table again… This will be in the interests of both Ukraine and Russia,” Macron stated.
He also stressed that Ukraine “will need to take” this step, even despite the impossibility of negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin declared by Kyiv.
“Negotiating does not mean giving up something,” Macron said.
“Return to the negotiating table”
In mid-September, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell also announced the need to start a dialogue. According to him, the European Union is interested in starting peace talks on Ukraine as soon as possible, but the Ukrainian leadership should decide this issue.
At the same time, Kyiv is not ready for the negotiation process with Russia now. At the end of September, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced his unwillingness to conduct a dialogue with the Russian Federation while the country is headed by Vladimir Putin. He also approved the earlier decision of the National Security and Defense Council on the impossibility of dialogue with the Russian leader.
Russia, for its part, does not refuse dialogue with Ukraine. On September 30, the Russian leader called on the Kyiv regime to stop hostilities and return to the negotiating table.
“We call on the Kyiv regime to immediately cease fire, all hostilities, the war that it unleashed back in 2014, and return to the negotiating table. We are ready for this, it has been said more than once,” Putin said.
At the same time, he stressed that Moscow does not intend to discuss the status of the DPR, LPR, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, whose residents voted in a referendum for joining Russia, at possible negotiations.
“We will not discuss the choice of the people in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson, it has been made, Russia will not betray it. And today’s Kyiv authorities should treat this free will of the people with respect – and nothing else. This is the only way to peace,” the President of the Russian Federation said.
In turn, the director of the second department of the CIS countries of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Alexei Polishchuk, in an interview with TASS, recalled that the Russian Federation never refused negotiations – Kyiv itself interrupted them. Moreover, this was done “obviously at the behest of Western curators.”
“He (Kyiv. – RT) was ready to fix permanent neutrality, non-nuclear and non-bloc status, demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine in exchange for security guarantees. When the draft treaty began to take on an acceptable shape, Kyiv interrupted the negotiation process,” Polishchuk said.
The diplomat also called “absolutely unconstructive” the position of Zelensky, who forbade negotiations with Putin.
“It is devoid of common sense and does not meet the interests of Ukraine itself. The more negotiations are postponed, the further their starting point shifts, and not in favor of Kyiv”, Polishchuk noted.
Recall that the delegations of the Russian Federation and Ukraine held several rounds of negotiations in February, March and April, but then the dialogue was suspended at the initiative of Kyiv. As Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted in June, the West does not allow Ukraine to negotiate.
“Ukraine seemed to put forward a proposal two months ago on how to resolve this issue. We have taken these proposals as a basis. So a day later, the West forbade Ukrainians to continue this process,” he said.
“Europe is forced to follow the course of the United States”
According to analysts, the EU’s position that Ukraine should decide when and under what conditions to start negotiations is hypocritical, since Kyiv is not independent in making decisions.
“Kyiv does not solve this issue at all. This issue is being resolved in the State Department, the Pentagon and the White House. Nobody will argue with the Americans”, said Vladimir Bruter, an expert at the International Institute for Humanitarian and Political Studies, in an interview with RT.
The words of Charles Michel and other European politicians about the need for dialogue should not be taken as a desire to immediately start negotiations to end hostilities, the analyst says. In fact, the West wants to negotiate on favorable terms for Kyiv and itself, for which it continues to provide Ukraine with financial and military support, which prolongs the conflict, Bruter said.
“The goal of the West is to help Ukraine until Russia loses. Our Ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, spoke about this last week. According to him, Washington proposes to start negotiations on several conditions. Among them – the withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of Ukraine, the stop of the special operatopn and the payment of reparations. This is the negotiating position of the West. And this, of course, does not suit us”, the political scientist emphasized.
At the same time, experts note that the European Union, despite the fact that the conflict in Ukraine greatly harms its economy, cannot take independent steps to start negotiations as soon as possible, since European policy is actually determined in the United States.
“The EU economy is what Washington is willing to sacrifice to achieve its goals in Ukraine. Europe itself is not independent in its actions regarding Ukraine, because Washington determines the policy for them. Europe is forced to follow the US course. So it will continue to destroy its economy, but it will not take any independent steps,” Bruter said.
Dmitry Danilov, head of the European Security Department at the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, holds a similar position. In an interview with RT, he stated that Brussels cannot abandon the political line shared with the United States on the Ukrainian crisis.
“The EU is not independent in its decisions. It actually follows the Euro-Atlantic policy that the US is shaping. Brussels is unable to change this line. They don’t have a plan B. In Europe, they will not put pressure on Kyiv to start negotiations until the US policy changes”, the analyst concluded.
Alexey Latyshev, Alena Medvedeva, RT
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