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Ukraine wants West to stop pushing for ‘unacceptable’ peace terms

Ukraine can defeat Russia on the battlefield if the West supplies enough artillery and other heavy weapons instead of pushing Kiev towards a bad peace deal, Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba wrote in an op-ed published by Foreign Affairs magazine on Friday.

“The West must therefore not suggest peace initiatives with unacceptable terms and instead help Ukraine win,” Kuleba wrote, calling for additional weapons for Kiev and more sanctions on Moscow.

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The foreign minister criticized French President Emmanuel Macron for saying the West should not “humiliate” Russia, and former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger for suggesting that Ukraine should cede some territory for the sake of peace with Moscow.

“These declarations are premised on the idea that Ukrainians, no matter how well they fight, cannot defeat Moscow’s forces. But that notion is wrong,” Kuleba said. He insisted that “with sufficient support,” Ukraine can stop the advance of Russian troops and take back some of its land.

“[Russian President Vladimir] Putin is not suicidal; a Ukrainian victory will not lead to nuclear warfare,” Kuleba said. “Instead of focusing on Putin’s feelings, the United States and Europe should focus on practical steps to help Ukraine prevail.”

The op-ed comes at a time when Ukrainian officials are growing frustrated with the speed and quantity of Western arms deliveries.

“Either the world doesn’t quite understand what is happening, or it does understand, is tired, and is content with a few Ukrainians dying,” Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov told The Economist on Sunday.

Mikhail Podoliak, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky, suggested this week that countries such as France and Germany are “hiding from the war.”

“If you think we should lose, just tell us directly: ‘We want you to lose.’ Then we will understand why you give us weapons at this level,” Podoliak told the New York Times.

Several European leaders, including Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, met with Zelensky in Kiev this week, pledging more support. Sergey Nikiforov, Zelensky’s spokesman, denied that the Ukrainian leader was pressured into holding talks with Russia.

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