From our correspondent
how – fPerhaps it is no coincidence that contradictory signals are coming from the Ukrainian government On the possibility of negotiating with Moscow On the future of Crimea, just as the visit of Emmanuel Macron and Ursula von der Leyen to Beijing re-suggests a possible role as a mediator for China. Let Kyiv be ready again territorial settlementEspecially in the Crimea, to seek peace with Moscow before it withdraws its troops from the occupied territories?
different items They don’t think that’s possible Indeed, in the past few hours, some of President Zelensky’s senior advisors They categorically denied it. However, the question seems legit after yesterday’s post on the front page of financial timeshas been posted Interview with Andrei Sepihaa longtime diplomat and foreign policy advisor to the president, who explains it, just in case Military counteroffensive expected in the Ukrainian spring Successful enough to bring troops to the administrative borders of the Crimea, it will be possible to enter into negotiations.
Sibiha is keen to add that «certainly in Kiev Nobody excludes the possibility of liberating Crimea with weapons. But his words are very different from those uttered by Zelensky with more determination than at any time since the beginning of last June, so Complete Russian withdrawal on the 1991 borders It was laid down as a basic precondition for the start of any peace negotiations.
It should be remembered that in the early stages of the Russian invasion Zelensky had proposed to PutinTo freeze the status quo of the occupied territories for 15 years By the Russians with their local allies in 2014, Crimea and the Autonomous Republics of Luhansk and Donetsk in the Donbass, in exchange for the Russian withdrawal on the borders of February 23, 2022 and the start of negotiations to regulate relations between the two countries. at that point Zelensky seemed ready to give up territories he lost 9 years ago in exchange for peace. But Putin indignantly refused, and since then the Ukrainian position has gradually hardened, right up to the confrontation provoked by the farce referendums in September organized by Moscow in the occupied regions.
Yesterday Zelensky’s closest advisers wanted to deny any credibility to Sepha’s words. • The only basis for real negotiation is Russian withdrawal on the 1991 borders Internationally recognized, including the Crimea. We have no intention of compromising our sovereign rights, ”explained Mikhaylo Podolyak among others. And the chief press secretary of the president, Sergey Nikiforov, wanted to emphasize this Only Zelensky has the authority to talk about any negotiations.. A few days ago, the acting secretary of the National Security Council, Oleksiy Danilov, announced a plan for a military invasion of Crimea, which included the destruction of the Kerch bridge and the search for collaborators.
But what then prompted Sibiha to make these statements? One hypothesis is that it reverses Internal debate in government circles in Kiev and responding to Allied pressure in Western Europe, where there are many who differentiate between the need to soon expel the Russians from territories occupied since 2022, and the risk of a wider conflict erupting through the attempt to liberate Crimea.
In any case, Moscow rejected yesterday in principle “any negotiations on Crimea.”. Doubts remain. “Maybe it was just a whirlwind, and it will not be the first time in this government that the right hand does not know what the left is doing and vice versa. Sepiha himself could also be removed from his job as a punishment, as the well-known political scientist Jaroslav Gryzak told us, puzzled by the situation..
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