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Stoltenberg says peace cannot mean freezing Russia’s war

by Alexander Khrebet June 18, 2023 2:34 PM 2 min read
Jens Stoltenberg, General Secretary of NATO, is pictured during the Informal Meeting of the NATO Foreign Ministers on June 1, 2023 in Oslo, Norway. (Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images)
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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned against premature peace talks between Ukraine and Russia after South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa said in Kyiv that “peace has to be achieved through diplomacy as soon as possible.”

“We all want this war to end. But for peace to be sustainable, it must be just. Peace cannot mean freezing the conflict and accepting a deal dictated by Russia,” Stoltenberg told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag on June 18.

Stoltenberg also said that “only Ukraine alone can define the acceptable conditions” for peace.

“We need to make sure that when this war ends, there are credible agreements for Ukraine's security so that Russia cannot rearm and attack again and the cycle of Russian aggression is broken,” Stoltenberg said.

At the G20 summit meeting in November 2022, Zelensky introduced Ukraine’s 10-point peace plan, which includes the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops, establishing a tribunal into Russian war crimes, releasing of all prisoners and deported Ukrainians, and the prevention of ecocide.

Ramaphosa presented another 10-point peace plan of the African Peace Mission in Kyiv. The plan includes settling Russia’s war through diplomacy, de-escalation of hostilities, respecting sovereignty in accordance with the UN Charter, security guarantees, ensuring the grain and fertilizers export, humanitarian assistance to the war's victims, prisoners of war and captives swap, reconstruction, and better interaction with the African countries.

As Ukraine looks West, Russia wins over Africa
Since its independence, Ukraine’s diplomatic efforts have focused primarily on looking West. Meanwhile, Russia has set its sights all over the world. While the Euro-Atlantic world has been firm in its support of Ukraine, condemning Russia’s all-out war, the African continent, home to 54 countries a…

Zelensky later said that peace talks with Russia are possible only after a full withdrawal of Russian troops.

The African leaders' delegation that came to Kyiv to present a peace plan was mostly interested in suspending Russian President Vladimir Putin's International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant for deporting thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia, Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to the President's Office, said on June 17.

On March 17, the ICC issued arrest warrants for Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian official allegedly overseeing the forced deportations of Ukrainian children to Russia, meaning that Putin and Lvova-Belova can now be arrested in countries that have ratified the Rome Statute.

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