Ukrainian officials have signaled they want peace talks with Russia to begin in February.
The country, which was initially invaded by Russia on Feb. 24, has suggested that the United Nations mediate the negotiations.
“Every war ends in a diplomatic way. Every war ends as a result of the actions taken on the battlefield and at the negotiating table,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told the Associated Press on Dec. 26. “The United Nations could be the best venue for holding this summit because this is not about making a favor to a certain country.”
Kuleba also said Ukraine would do whatever it can to win the war in 2023 during the same interview.
The statement came one day after a Russian television station aired an interview with President Vladimir Putin, who said while his government has been open to holding peace talks, Kyiv has refused.
“We are ready to negotiate with everyone involved about acceptable solutions, but that is up to them. We are not the ones refusing to negotiate, they are,” Putin said in the interview with Rossiya 1, per Fox News.
The Russian president stood by his decision to invade Ukraine, which he has said was part of an effort to “denazify” Ukraine.
“I believe that we are acting in the right direction, we are defending our national interests, the interests of our citizens, our people. And we have no other choice but to protect our citizens,” said Putin.
Ukraine’s foreign minister disputed Putin’s statements regarding his government’s willingness to negotiate an end to the ongoing war while speaking with AP.
“They (Russians) regularly say that they are ready for negotiations, which is not true, because everything they do on the battlefield proves the opposite,” he said.
Kuleba’s peace talk suggestion was not immediately amplified by the UN.
“As the secretary-general has said many times in the past, he can only mediate if all parties want him to mediate,” said Florencia Soto Nino-Martinez, a spokesperson for the collective, on Dec. 26.
While presenting at the G20 Summit in November, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky presented a 10-point peace plan.
“Ukraine has always been a leader in peacekeeping efforts, and the world has witnessed it,” Zelensky said to the world leaders in attendance. “And if Russia says that it supposedly wants to end this war, let it prove it with actions.”
His plan included steps to ensure food security, energy security, the withdrawal of Russian troops and cessation of hostilities, the protection of the environment, the release of prisoners and deportees, and the implementation of the UN Charter.