Ukraine tells Lula “thanks but no thanks”
Despite Brazilian President Luiz Inàcio Lula da Silva’s efforts to come up with a peace plan for the ongoing war in Europe, Ukraine replied Friday that it will not give up Crimea, a peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014, in exchange for the end of the conflict, something which the South American leader had suggested as a possible course of action.
There is no legal, political or moral reason that would justify giving up a single centimeter of Ukrainian territory, Ukrainian Spokesman Oleg Nikolenko wrote on Facebook, who also said that appreciated the efforts of the Brazilian president to find a way to stop Russian aggression were appreciated.
Any mediation efforts to restore peace in Ukraine must be based on respect for the full and entire sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the UN charter, Nikolenko insisted.
On Thursday, Lula had suggested Ukraine ceded the Crimean peninsula to Russia to facilitate the end of the war, and affirmed that the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky cannot want everything.
”(Russian President Vladimir) Putin cannot keep the territory of Ukraine. Maybe Crimea will be discussed. But what he invaded again, he has to rethink, Lula also said in a meeting with journalists at the Planalto presidential palace in Brasilia.
Lula submitted in January a proposal for a group of countries to mediate in the Ukrainian conflict. The Brazilian leader plans to present this project to his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in Beijing next week.
The Brazilian head of state said he was confident in the chances of success of such a project, and hoped that the group of countries could be created upon his return from China.
Russia said on several occasions in recent days that peace talks are impossible in the current context, and assured that it will maintain its military operation in Ukraine. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov insisted Friday that peace talks on Ukraine should be based on a new world order” free from US domination.