A frozen war would mean that future generations of Ukrainians would also have to take up arms, President Volodymyr Zelensky told African journalists on Nov. 15.
"If there is a stalemate and a frozen conflict, we have to honestly say that our children, or our grandchildren, will have to fight," Zelensky said.
"We've already lost too many people. Do we want to live like this, knowing that we will raise children who will certainly have to fight?"
The president stressed that Ukraine desires peace, but if Russia is not "put in its place," it will attack again in the future.
"The stalemate is a temporary weakness. If we want to end the war, we must end it," Zelensky said, adding that the world needs to see the aggressor bear responsibility for its actions.
As concerns about the resolve of the pro-Ukraine coalition grow, unconfirmed media reports emerged earlier claiming that the Western allies began quietly talking with Kyiv about possible peace talks with Russia, even at the price of concessions.
Washington denied the reports, with the U.S. State Department's spokesperson saying that "any negotiations... are up to Ukraine."
"We are not aware of any conversations with Ukraine about negotiations outside of the peace formula structure," Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel told reporters, referring to Zelensky's 10-point plan for an end to the war.
Zelensky's peace formula calls for the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from illegally occupied Ukrainian lands and the restoration of Ukraine's territorial integrity, among other steps.