Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy dismissed the idea of a “short-term ceasefire” with Russia on Friday, saying it would only make things worse.
“Russia is now looking for a short ceasefire, a pause to regain strength. Someone may call this the end of the war, but such a pause will only aggravate the situation,” the Ukrainian leader said in a speech broadcast at the Halifax International Security Forum.
“Truly real, lasting and honest peace can only be the result of complete destruction of Russian aggression,” Zelenskyy said.
Earlier in the day, the White House said only Zelenskyy could decide when to open peace talks with Russia, dismissing the notion that it would push Kyiv to negotiate an end to the nearly nine-month war sparked by Moscow’s February invasion.
However, General Mark Milley, the top US military officer, has suggested in recent weeks that Kyiv could capitalize on battlefield victories over Moscow’s forces and hold talks to end the conflict.
Milley said on Wednesday that while Ukraine has made important gains, Moscow still controls about 20 percent of the country and that Kiev’s troops are unlikely to force the Russians to leave the country anytime soon. —Agence France-Presse