Ukraine Affirms It Doesn't Need Peace Mediators: A Path to Peace Lies Within
|"The Ukrainian flag in the village of Dolyna in the Donetsk region. (AA/METIN AKTAS via DW INDONESIA)"|
In the pursuit of ending the Russian war in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky's top aide emphasizes that Ukraine's peace plan is the sole way forward, rendering the need for mediation efforts obsolete. Ihor Zhovkva, the head diplomatic advisor, conveyed to Reuters that Ukraine is not interested in a ceasefire that would solidify Russia's territorial gains. Instead, the country prioritizes the implementation of its peace plan, which envisions a complete withdrawal of Russian forces.
Over the past few months, Ukraine has declined peace initiatives from China, Brazil, the Vatican, and South Africa. Zhovkva stated in a recent interview, "There cannot be a Brazilian peace plan, a Chinese peace plan, or a South African peace plan when discussing the war in Ukraine." Zelensky has made significant strides in engaging with the Global South this month, in response to the peace moves made by some of its members. He attended the League of Arab States Summit in Saudi Arabia on May 19, holding discussions with the host, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as Iraq and other delegations. Subsequently, he traveled to Japan, where he met with the leaders of India and Indonesia, important voices in the Global South, during the sidelines of the Group of Seven (G7) Summit in Hiroshima, a major economic power group.
While Kyiv has received strong support from the West in its struggle against the Kremlin, it has yet to gain the same level of support from the Global South, a term encompassing Latin America, Africa, and much of Asia, where Russia has invested diplomatic efforts for years. Moscow has strengthened its ties with Global South powers during the Ukrainian conflict, including selling more energy resources to India and China.
In response to the Western embargo on Russian oil imports via sea routes, Russia has worked to redirect supplies from traditional European markets to Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Ukraine's Zhovkva affirms that securing support from the Global South is a top priority. While Ukraine initially focused on its relations with Western allies at the onset of the invasion, achieving peace is now a concern shared by all nations, he emphasized.
He downplayed the prospects of calls for dialogue with Russia, made by Pope Francis, who characterized the occupied Ukrainian territory as a political issue. "In this period of open war, we do not need mediators. It is too late for mediation," he remarked.