Russia open to peace talks with Ukraine with conditions, says ambassador to U.K.

Russian Ambassador to Great Britain Andrey Kelin

28th May 2023 – (London) Russian Ambassador to the U.K., Andrey Kelin, said in an interview with the BBC on Sunday that Russia is open to peace talks with Ukraine but will not give up its conditions. Kelin emphasised that Russia wants peace, but it must be on certain terms. The two important conditions for Russia are that there will be no threat from Ukraine to Russia and that Russians in Ukraine will be treated like all other nations in the world. Kelin described developments in Ukraine in recent years as “extreme nationalism” and a “grave violation of the Human Rights Declaration and of all documentation.”

Kelin stated that Russia’s current military objective is to liberate the Donbass from occupation and dismissed the idea that Ukraine may prevail as “a big idealistic mistake.” He maintained that peace talks could be made tomorrow if the Ukrainian side is willing to negotiate, but the president of Ukraine has prohibited any negotiations.

Kelin expressed concern about the continued escalation of the conflict and the ramping up of weapons supplies to Kiev. However, he reiterated that Russia’s nuclear doctrine does not envision using nuclear weapons in the conflict in Ukraine. Kelin explained that simply freezing the conflict would not create a platform for stable and long-term peace in Europe.