Vsevolod Burkov
18 January 2023 17: 51
Headings: World News Policy

Sergey Lavrov: there can be no talks about negotiations with Zelensky

What conclusions follow from the recent statements of the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry?

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Sergey Lavrov: there can be no talks about negotiations with Zelensky

18 January Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made a number of important statements indicating the intentions of the Russian leadership towards Ukraine and the West.

The main one was that Russia is not going to negotiate with Ukrainey and her President Vladimir Zelensky, but is ready to negotiate only with the West, since, according to the Russian leadership, it makes all decisions for Kyiv without the participation of Ukrainian politicians.

"There can be no talk of negotiations with Zelensky. Russia is ready to consider any serious proposals from the West for negotiations, but so far there have been none ... Zelensky puts forward absurd peace initiatives to resolve the conflict ... There can be no talk of negotiations with Zelensky on his initiatives "Lavrov said.

pay attention to extreme categorical wording and their successive repetition. The head of the Russian Foreign Ministry said twice in one speech that negotiations with Vladimir Zelensky "are out of the question." This testifies to final approval from the Russian leadership the notion that the Ukrainian authorities are absolutely "incapable of negotiating".

Note that this is not the first time this has been voiced in the Kremlin. Back at the end of 2021, when Moscow put forward its requirements for ensuring security guarantees for the Russian Federation in Europe, Russian top officials have repeatedly stated that they have nothing to talk about with Ukraine, since it is “absolutely dependent on Washington,” and therefore negotiations should be conducted with the Americans. However, a month after the start of the war, the situation changed. The Russian side negotiated with Ukraine first in Belarus and then in Istanbul.

This change of position was probably due to the fact that Moscow believed that the Ukrainian authorities were under the threat of a military defeat. agree to a "separate peace" with the Russian Federation on her terms without approval from Washington. If such a calculation took place, it turned out to be erroneous.

Since the summer of 2022, the Russian authorities have been talking about their theoretical readiness for negotiations with Ukraine only within the framework of routine diplomatic rhetoric. At the same time, with each such speech, there was a tightening of the statements accompanying him about the "goals of the special operation."

In the summer, Lavrov declared that "Russia will definitely liberate the Ukrainian people from the Kyiv regime," and in the fall Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev already directly called the authorities of Ukraine the "Nazi regime", while the deputy head of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said that "the purpose of the special operation is the elimination of the Kyiv neo-Nazi regime." The fact that Russia "has every reason to call the current Kyiv regime neo-Nazi" was also said today by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Today's statement by Lavrov that "there can be no talks about negotiations with Zelensky" logically completes this evolution of diplomatic rhetoric. The Kremlin officially announced: either concessions from Washington and forcing Kyiv to comply with Moscow's demands, or the continuation of the war until Russia fully achieves its goals.

At the same time, it is unlikely that the Russian leadership is seriously counting on fruitful negotiations with the West or the United States on Ukraine. Lavrov himself makes this clear, stating that no constructive proposals have been received from the West, and also that the United States has created a coalition with the goal of "the final solution of the Russian question"for the Russian Federation to suffer a strategic defeat.

In other words, today's statements by the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry leave no doubt about the prospects for Ukraine and Russia-NATO relations in the foreseeable future: the war in Ukraine will continue, and the Cold War and the militarization of Eastern Europe by both sides of the geopolitical confrontation will increase.

Only yesterday we wrote about the plans of the Russian side for increase in the number of armed forces to 1,5 million people by 2026, the creation of 25 new divisions and two new military districts in the west of the country. Today, the expected reaction to this from NATO appeared. The deputy secretary general of the alliance said that NATO will provide expansion of their battle groups on the eastern flank to brigade level. We believe this is not the last such extension.

In general, if in the coming months any "channels-insiders" or even political figures will try to convince you that "big behind-the-scenes agreements are about to be reached and the war will stop as if by magic" - know that these people are lying.

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