More and more citizens want their government to sit down at the negotiating table with Moscow, Aleksey Danilov has admitted
A growing number of Ukrainians would like to see Kiev launch peace talks with Moscow, the head of the National Security and Defense Council, Aleksey Danilov, admitted on Thursday. The top security official blasted the development as a “very dangerous tendency” when he was live on the Ukrainian talk show ‘Greater Lviv speaks’.
“[One should] bear in mind that those [people advocating talks with Russia] are growing in numbers. It is a very dangerous tendency when even people in western Ukraine are starting to talk about such things,” Danilov said, as cited by RIA news agency. He also pointed out a local politician in the western Lviv region that allegedly called on Kiev to sit down at the negotiating table with Moscow.
Russia has previously repeatedly indicated that it was open to communicating with Ukraine if its leaders accepted Moscow’s conditions and recognized what the Kremlin calls the “reality on the ground.” In autumn 2022, four former Ukrainian regions, including the two Donbass republics, officially joined Russia following referendums. Kiev blasted the vote as a “sham” and insisted all four territories remained part of Ukraine, along with Crimea, which joined Russia back in 2014 following another referendum in the wake of the Maidan coup.
Kiev has refused to enter into any negotiations with Moscow since spring 2022, when initial attempts to resolve the conflict through diplomatic means failed. At the time, Ukraine withdrew from talks with Russia following several rounds of negotiations in Belarus and Türkiye.
In early October 2022, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky ruled out negotiations with his Russian counterpart. Kiev is insisting on a military victory over Moscow. During a G20 summit in November 2022, Zelensky ruled out a potential new ‘Minsk-3’ agreement, referring to previous accords designed to resolve the conflict between Kiev and the two Donbass republics.
The Minsk protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, 2022, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the agreements, which were designed to give Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state.
Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the agreement to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.” The idea was confirmed by then-chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel and then-president of France Francois Hollande.