The adviser to the Ukrainian president rules out an agreement with Russia that will include the concession of territories
Ukraine today ruled out a ceasefire with Russia and said Kyiv would not accept any land deal with Moscow.
Adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mikhail Pontoliak, acknowledging that Kiev’s stance is becoming more intransigent, said the concessions would boomerang on Ukraine because Russia would hit it hardest after any ceasefire.
“The war will not stop (if concessions are made). It will just be a pause for a while,” he told Reuters in an interview with the guarded presidential office, where some windows and corridors are protected by sandbags. “After a while, with renewed vigor, the Russians will gather weapons, manpower, see their mistakes, modernize themselves a bit, fire many generals. And start a new offensive, more bloody and on a large scale,” he said.
Pontolyak dismissed as “very strange” calls from the West for an immediate ceasefire, with Russian forces remaining in the occupied territories in southern and eastern Ukraine. “The (Russian) forces must leave the country and then it will be possible to continue the peace process,” he said.
Both sides say peace talks have stalled and blamed each other.
Pontoliak argued that a ceasefire would be in the Kremlin’s interest. “They want to show some kind of military success. Certainly there will be no military success, given the help (received by Ukraine) from the Western partners. It would be good if the elites in Europe and the US got to the end: Russia does not. “It can be left in the middle, because (the Russians) will develop a revanchist conception and become even tougher. They must be defeated, they must suffer a painful defeat, as painful as possible.”