Zelenskyy ‘Peace’ Performance for G20 Receives Cold Review by Moscow
Nov. 15, 2022 (EIRNS)—Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, this morning, addressed the G20 gathering in Bali, Indonesia, by video. Given, that previously he had made clear that Ukraine would fight to the death to liberate Crimea and militarily defeat Russia, never stopping to negotiate until Vladimir Putin was removed from office, it started off about as well as could be expected: “I am convinced now is the time when the Russian destructive war must and can be stopped.” Then he invoked the UN Charter as the basis for a peace.
Then Zelenskyy explained that Ukraine was not to “be offered compromises with its sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence”—that is, among other things, Crimea is off the table for discussion. And since he had already scuttled any agreement, evidently it was time to beat down on Russia: “Obviously, Russia’s words can’t be trusted, and there will be no Minsk-3 that Russia will violate immediately after the signing.” This last reference was obviously meant to be inflammatory, as Kiev was famous for making a mockery of the 2014 Minsk Accord and the 2015 Minsk-2, the whole time that Russia was obstinate about living up to the agreement.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was straightforward: The rejection of the Minsk format by the Ukrainian President “absolutely confirms” the unwillingness of Kiev to negotiate with Moscow. “We state the main thing here—that the position both de facto and de jure of the Ukrainian side indicates that Ukraine cannot and does not want to negotiate.” Hence, Russia can only forge ahead “through the continuation of a special military operation” in Ukraine.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, heading up Russia’s delegation at the Group of 20, calmly explained that Kiev’s conditions were “invariably unrealistic.” Then he warned that the longer Kiev rejects negotiations, the harder it will be for the sides to find common ground. Both Peskov and Lavrov conveyed the same idea, for anyone who cared to pay attention. Regardless of any hype, Ukraine faces a brutal period ahead, with Russia poised to enforce their will militarily—and it appears that Russia is not in a mood to suffer fools.