Russia says annulment of sanctions, lawsuits in int'l courts a condition for Ukraine settlement

Par Elena Teslova/AA | AA
MOSCOW - 19-Mar-2023 - 14h22   9141                      
Maria Zakharova AA Images
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zakharova's comments come day after ICC issued arrest warrant for Putin

MOSCOW (AA) - Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Saturday said annulment of sanctions and lawsuits in international courts against Russia is one of the conditions for settlement in Ukraine.

In a statement on the ministry's website, Zakharova said to achieve "sustainable peace," it is necessary to stop supplying arms and sending mercenaries to Ukraine.

Ukraine also has to return to a neutral, non-nuclear, non-bloc status, denazified and demilitarized, all threats emanating from its territory have to be removed, and rights of Russian-speaking population should be guaranteed, she added.

"New territorial reality ... should be internationally recognized. The annulment of all illegal sanctions and lawsuits against Russia in international courts should become an integral part," she stressed.

Zakharova's comments came a day after the International Criminal Court issued warrants for the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the country's children ombudswoman Maria Lvova-Belova.

Commenting on Ukraine's foreign minister's statement, promoting the country's "formula of peace," Zakharova said: "We are dealing with another attempt by the Ukrainian side to misinform the international community and its own citizens."

She said Ukrainian authorities do not sit at the negotiating table, and instead move forward a "set of ultimatums," which include the withdrawal of Russian army "even from Crimea," and payment of reparations and surrender to international tribunals.

Zakharova said this "formula of peace" has nothing to do with peace, its goal is "to achieve Russia's capitulation with the help of the West."

The spokeswoman stressed that opinion of Ukraine's authorities would have significance "only if Ukraine retained sovereignty and independence from Washington."

"However, this is not the case. The Kyiv regime has long been a tool of the US and other NATO countries in the fight against Russia. And they are not at all interested in a peaceful settlement in Ukraine," she said.

Zakharova cited US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who said Washington plans to continue arms supplies to Kyiv, and does not plan diplomatic interaction with Moscow regarding a peace settlement.

She also recalled that US National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby in response to China's recent peace initiative said a "cease-fire right now would constitute another continued violation of the UN Charter."

"We have repeatedly said we are open to really serious proposals from the West and Ukraine on a political and diplomatic solution to the crisis, but the language of ultimatums is unacceptable to us," she emphasized.


Elena Teslova/AA

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