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France: Expert discusses ‘peace talks’ with Putin
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France and Germany have been put on notice amid concerns in Ukraine that the two leading European Union member-states could strike a peace deal which rewards Russia. An advisor to the Ukrainian Parliament, Mykola Volkivskyi, revealed officials from Germany, Italy, and France are going to meet with Vladimir Putin “in the next few weeks”. However, he said any attempt to surrender Ukrainian territory without Ukrainian consent would be “unacceptable”.
Speaking to GB News, Mr Volkivskyi said: “It is understood that they will meet with Putin in the next few weeks.
“What is going on in international politics, in the negotiations over the future of Ukraine, I’m pretty sure that these politicians are united with Ukraine.
“But if, for example, they advise us to make bilateral peace talks with Russia, we need to make sure we have the territory we have had since independence. Any other option is unacceptable.”
The comments come amid growing fears that Western allies could force Ukraine to cede territory to Russia in order to secure peace.
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Veteran US diplomat Henry Kissinger as well as an editorial in the New York Times have urged Ukraine to acknowledge it may have to lose territory to Putin.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday slammed former US Secretary of State for suggesting Ukraine cede some territory to Russia in the name of peace.
President Zelensky told a meeting at Davos: “When Ukraine says it is fighting to regain its territories, it means that Ukraine will fight until it restores all of its territory.
“It doesn’t mean anything else. It’s about our sovereignty, our territorial integrity and our independence.”
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He added: “Behind all these geopolitical speculations of those who advise Ukraine to give away something to Russia, ‘great geopoliticians’ are always unwilling to see ordinary people.
“Millions of those who actually live in the territory they propose to exchange for the illusion of peace. You must always see people.”
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss backed up Ukraine, saying “any lifting of sanctions, any appeasement, will simply make Putin stronger in the longer term”.
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On Thursday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was again forced to defend his country’s response to the war, amid claims within Germany he appears not to want either side to emerge a victor from the war.
In response, Chancellor Scholz told the World Economic Forum at Davos: “Putin must not win his war, and I am convinced he will not win.
“A capture of the whole of Ukraine seems further away now than at the beginning of the war.”
On the ground in Ukraine, Russia has made significant advances this week.
According to the governor of the Luhansk region, Russian forces have taken over two-thirds of the perimeter of the front-line city of Severodonetsk – the most easterly major population centre in the Donbas still controlled by Ukraine.
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