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Ukraine’s Zelensky: Force Russia To Make Peace

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged Western leaders to pressure Russia into peace using “all means” necessary.

Speaking in Spain, Mr Zelensky said there needed to be “tangible coercion of Russia” , which was seeking to “destroy Ukraine and move on”.

Mr Zelensky has long said he will not negotiate with Russia directly until Moscow’s forces leave all Ukrainian territory, including Crimea.

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His call, however, comes as Russia makes gains against Ukraine, with Kyiv suffering from a shortage of Western-supplied weapons.

Russia, President Zelensky said, was dropping some 3,200 guided aerial bombs on Ukraine each month.

“How do you fight that?” he asked reporters in Madrid where he met Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.

The Ukrainian leader rejected the idea of inviting Russia to a planned peace summit in Switzerland next month.

The summit is expected to include representatives of more than 90 countries.

Delegates will try to chart a course for a just and lasting peace in Ukraine based on 10 demands set forth by Kyiv calling for the return of all invaded territory, reparation payments for war-related damages and the creation of a special tribunal to prosecute Russian war crimes, a plan that Moscow has flatly rejected.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Russian President Vladimir Putin is ready for talks but only “to achieve the objectives now being achieved via the special military operation”, as Russia describes the Ukraine war.

In Madrid, Mr Zelensky urged Western leaders to lift bans on donated weapons being used to strike internationally recognised Russian territory.

Most Western countries, including the US, have insisted Kyiv focuses its attacks on Russian forces occupying Ukrainian territory.

“We need to work together and put pressure not only on Russia, but also on our partners to give us the opportunity to defend ourselves against Russia,” the Ukrainian leader said.

One of the conditions for receiving billions of pounds worth of aid from Western allies, is for Kyiv to outline its own vision for how this war should end.

It’s why President Zelensky previously published a “10-point peace plan” which includes the complete withdrawal of Russian forces and guarantees against future Russian aggression.

It is what Kyiv has always called for, but the tone has changed.

The summit in Switzerland is generating urgency for President Zelensky. He wants to galvanise international momentum behind his terms.

BBC

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