Negotiating with Moscow a ‘waste of time’ — seasoned Ukrainian diplomat

Zerkal: Putin thinks he is stronger than he was a year ago
Zerkal: Putin thinks he is stronger than he was a year ago

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is intent on annexing Ukraine rather than seeking peace negotiations, former Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Lana Zerkal said during the Kyiv Security Forum on March 22. 

Serving from 2015 to 2019, Zerkal represented Ukraine in international court cases against Russia and participated in negotiations on Russian natural gas supplies to Ukraine between 2014 and 2016.

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“I have significant experience negotiating with the Russians,” said Zerkal.

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“You're not speaking with representatives; you are speaking with Putin. All these people express his views. We talked for hours and hours. And it's simply a waste of time. They are playing games, directed by Putin.”

She reiterated that Moscow has no genuine interest in peace talks and remains fixated on occupying Ukraine.

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“We've shown that we're prepared to defend our land,” the former diplomat continues.

“We know there will be numerous provocations and [peace] proposals offered to Ukraine. One must realize: he [Putin] thinks he is stronger than he was a year ago. We need to fight and defend our existence on the international stage.”

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine