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Ukraine aims for UN-backed peace summit in February | Ukraine

Ukraine intends to hold a peace summit by the end of February – preferably at the United Nations with its Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as a possible mediator – its foreign minister said.

But Dmytro Kuleba said Russia could only be invited if the country first faced a war crimes tribunal.

Kuleba also said he was “absolutely satisfied” with the results of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s visit to the US last week and revealed that the US government has made a special plan to acquire the Patriot air defense system, which can shoot down enemy missiles. ready to be operational in the country in less than six months. Training usually lasts up to a year.

During an interview at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kuleba said that Ukraine will do everything it can to win the war in 2023, adding that diplomacy always plays an important role.

“Every war ends diplomatically,” he said. “Every war ends as a result of actions taken on the battlefield and at the negotiating table.”

Kuleba said that the Ukrainian government would like to hold a peace summit by the end of February, on the anniversary of the Russian invasion.

“The United Nations can be the best place to hold this summit, because it is not about doing a favor to a particular country,” he said. “This is really about getting everyone on board.”

On December 12, Zelensky said that Ukraine plans to launch a summit to implement the Ukrainian peace formula in 2023.

At the Group of 20 summit in Bali in November, Zelensky presented a 10-point peace formula that includes restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity, withdrawing Russian troops, freeing all prisoners, a tribunal for those responsible for aggression and security. guarantees for Ukraine.

Asked whether he would invite Russia to the summit, the foreign minister said Moscow would first have to face prosecution for war crimes before an international court.

They can only be invited to this step in this way,” said Kuleba.

On the role of Guterres, Kuleba said: “He has proven to be an effective mediator and an effective negotiator and, most importantly, a principled and honest man.” That is why we would welcome his active participation.”

He again downplayed the Russian authorities’ comments that they were ready for talks.

“They regularly say they are ready to negotiate, which is not true, because everything they do on the battlefield proves otherwise,” he said.

Zelenski’s visit to the USA was his first foreign trip since the beginning of the war on February 24. Kuleba praised Washington’s efforts and emphasized the importance of the visit.

“This shows how important the United States is to Ukraine, but also how important Ukraine is to the United States,” said Kuleba, who was part of the delegation to the US.

Air defense system Patriot

During the trip, Ukraine secured a new $1.8 billion military aid package, including the Patriot system.

Kuleba said the move “opens the door for other countries to do the same.”

He said the US government developed the program for the air defense system so that training could be completed faster than usual “without any detriment to the quality of the use of these weapons on the battlefield”.

Although Kuleba did not mention a specific time frame, he said only that it would be “much less than six months.” He added that the training will take place outside of Ukraine.

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