Sunday, May 19, 2024

Russia: US prolonging Ukraine conflict, UK blocking peace deal

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said Ukraine abandoned a draft peace treaty with Russia in 2022 under British pressure. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has also stated the US is behind the Ukraine conflict and is deliberately trying to prolong the fighting.

The deal, which could have ended the Ukraine conflict weeks after it started, was approved by negotiators in Istanbul, but Kiev later pulled out of the talks.

The German newspaper Welt reported on Friday that Moscow had issued additional demands after a deal had already been outlined, such as making Russian the second official language in Ukraine, implying that this had ended any hopes of an agreement.

Peskov denied those claims on Saturday, citing remarks made by Ukrainian MP David Arakhamia, who led Kiev’s delegation at the talks.

In an interview to domestic media last November, Arakhamia said then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had intervened in the peace process and had urged the Ukrainians to “just fight” Russia.

Kiev effectively discarded the deal under “direct pressure by London,” Peskov stressed, adding, “The rest is speculation. I suggest we learn from the source.”

Asked whether the draft treaty could serve as a basis for further peace talks, Peskov said Kiev’s public position was to reject talks with Russia. The idea of reviving the failed agreement was floated by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko when he met Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin earlier this month.

Johnson has denied derailing the peace talks, but has also bragged on multiple occasions about his policy of nudging Kiev into continuing hostilities with Russia, which the British politician claims to be a fight for global democracy.

“There could be no more effective way of investing in Western security than investing in Ukraine, because those guys without a single pair of American boots on the ground are fighting for the West,” Johnson told students at Georgetown University during a visit to the US this month. The Ukrainians “are effectively fighting our own fight, fighting for our own interests,” he added.

Russian officials have described the Ukraine conflict as a Western proxy war against Moscow, which the US and its allies allegedly intend to wage “to the last Ukrainian”. Their goal, according to Moscow, is to contain Russia and stall its development, rather than protect the interests of the Ukrainian people.

Also on Friday, Shoigu identified Washington as a major source of global instability, citing its record of military interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. The US also uses financial and diplomatic tools to damage its adversaries and fuel chaos in different parts of the world, he claimed.

“The US had first created, and now is deliberately prolonging the Ukraine conflict,” the minister stated, adding, “As it signals purported intention to de-escalate, the West keeps pumping Kiev with weapons.”

Ukraine cannot properly manage the donations, however, which increases the risk that the funds could go to terrorist groups, Shoigu warned. He also pointed to direct NATO involvement in the ongoing Ukraine conflict.

“They provide real-time intelligence, train Ukrainian troops, deploy Western military specialists and mercenaries on the battlefield,” Shoigu noted.

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