Ukraine’s foreign minister proposes peace summit for February
By Carly Olson
Ukraine’s foreign minister said on Monday that his government hopes to have a peace summit by the end of February, about one year after Russia invaded Ukraine.
In an interview with The Associated Press, the minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said that the United Nations could host the summit, with Secretary General António Guterres acting as the possible mediator.
“Every war ends in a diplomatic way,” Kuleba said in the interview. “Every war ends as a result of the actions taken on the battlefield and at the negotiating table.”
Kuleba said that Russia would need to face prosecution for war crimes at an international court to attend the summit.
Kuleba added that he was “absolutely satisfied” with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to the United States last week and that the Patriot missile battery would be operational in Ukraine within six months.
Although Ukrainian officials have proposed a peace deal for months, and Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that he was willing to negotiate, U.S. and European officials have said that it is difficult to envision terms of a settlement that both Ukraine and Russia would accept.
This month, Zelenskyy discussed his vision for a global peace summit in a call with President Joe Biden. And in November, at the annual Group of 20 summit in Bali, Zelenskyy spoke about his “path to peace” to end the war, noting that Ukraine would not compromise on its stance until its territory was reinstated.
Also Monday, Ukraine’s foreign ministry demanded that Russia be removed as one of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and called for the country’s expulsion from the United Nations, a move considered unlikely.
The foreign ministry said that Russia illegally took over the Soviet Union’s seat without going through necessary procedures outlined in the U.N. charter when the union broke up in 1991. It also argued that Russia has abused its veto powers on the Security Council.
Russia should be readmitted only once it “fulfills the conditions for membership in the organization,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.