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Czech President: Russia 'has no right' to set conditions for peace in Ukraine

by Abbey Fenbert and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 17, 2024 5:42 AM 1 min read
Czech President Petr Pavel addresses a press conference at Prague Castle on May 2, 2023, in Prague, Czechia. (Michal Cizek/AFP via Getty Images)
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Czech President Petr Pavel said on March 16 that it is not possible to imagine Russia and Ukraine negotiating a peace agreement because Russia's proposals indicate a greater investment in continued Ukrainian subjugation than in lasting peace.

As the full-scale war enters its third year, more international leaders have urged Ukraine to enter into peace talks with Russia, including Pope Francis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Pavel said such negotiations would not likely succeed.

"All Russian proposals so far have been in fact a diktat," Pavel told Czech Radio.

"The Kremlin has presented its list of conditions that it as an aggressor has no right to put forward."

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said that the goals of the full-scale invasion, namely the so-called "demilitarization" and "de-Nazification" of Ukraine, have not changed.

Ukraine has said the peace talks should be held on the basis of its 10-step peace formula, which includes a full withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. Moscow rejects this proposal.

A document obtained by the Wall Street Journal shows that Russia's proposed peace terms for Ukraine in 2022 would deny Ukraine NATO membership and shrink the country's military, leaving it permanently vulnerable to Russian aggression.

Pavel said that instead of negotiations, the war would likely end with one side's clear military victory or both sides' eventual exhaustion.

After French President Emmanuel Macron said in a controversial speech that sending Western troops to Ukraine could not be "ruled out," Pavel was one of few European leaders not to dismiss the suggestion outright.

Pavel instead called for continued discussion on the possible presence of Western soldiers in Ukraine, urging partner countries to “not limit ourselves where we don't have to." He clarified that he was not talking about combat units, but possible training missions.

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