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UN chief: Ukraine peace talks 'impossible' now

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 9, 2023 2:11 PM 1 min read
UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, delivers a press statement to media after a meeting of envoys from more than 20 countries on Afghanistan in Doha, Qatar, 02 May 2023. (Noushad Thekkayil/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Peace negotiations between Ukraine and Russia are currently impossible as "both parties are convinced they can win," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told Spanish newspaper El Pais.

"This was a Russian invasion against international law, against the UN Charter, but I do not see Russia at the moment willing to withdraw from the territories it occupies, and I think Ukraine is hoping to retake them," Guterres said in the interview published on May 9.

"What we are doing, to the extent possible, is having a dialogue with both parties to solve specific problems." The UN chief added that his organization focused on securing exports of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea as well as of Russian food products and fertilizers, which the West hasn't sanctioned.

Leaked intelligence documents suggest the U.S. believed Guterres was "too accommodating" to Russia while trying to renew the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the BBC reported on April 13.

The UN and Turkey-brokered deal, first signed in July 2022, has allowed Ukraine to renew its grain exports after Russia blocked them in the first months of the full-scale invasion.

Why Ukraine chooses to negotiate on the battlefield, not at peace talks
When Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky proposed his 10-point peace plan to G20 leaders in Bali on Nov. 15, he had only recently returned from a historic visit to Kherson, the liberation of which marks another great step towards the return of all Russian-occupied territory. Touching on factors…

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