Ukrainian President Zelensky Urges Swift Peace Plan Development Amid Ongoing Conflict in Brussels

President Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized at a Brussels press conference that Ukraine is not interested in prolonging the war.

He expressed a strong desire to see the jointly developed settlement plan with Ukrainian allies “on the table” within a few months.

“We don’t have much time because a lot of people are dying.

Therefore, we do not want the war to continue for many years.

We want to prepare this [peace] plan as soon as possible,” Zelensky stressed, according to Interfax Ukraine.

The peace plan aims to be ready for the second “peace summit,” following the first one in Switzerland in mid-June.

The location of the next summit has yet to be disclosed.

Heavy Losses and the Human Toll

Zelensky last reported the losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in February, citing 31,000 soldiers killed by that time.

In contrast, Sergei Shoigu, then Russian Defense Minister, claimed Ukrainian losses exceeded 444,000.

Russia’s last reported military losses were in September 2022, amounting to 5,937.

Key Peace Demands

The final declaration of the Swiss “peace summit” included several key demands:

– The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant should return to Ukrainian control.

– The threat of nuclear weapons use should be excluded.

– Full and safe access to Ukrainian ports in the Black and Azov Seas, along with Ukrainian agricultural products, should be ensured.

– Ukrainian children should be returned home.

Eighty-two countries signed the communiqué of the Swiss summit, supporting Ukraine.

Although Russia was not invited, Zelensky vowed to share the summit’s outcomes with Moscow, aiming to end the military conflict.

Moscow’s Stance

Russia, however, dismisses negotiations based on Ukraine’s “peace formula” and insists on recognizing “realities on the ground.”

President Vladimir Putin criticized the Swiss summit as a distraction. On June 14, he outlined Moscow’s conditions for negotiations, which include:
– The withdrawal of Ukrainian forces from Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions.

– A formal Ukrainian renouncement of NATO membership plans.

– Recognition of Crimea, Sevastopol, and the aforementioned regions as Russian territory.

– Lifting of Western sanctions against Russia.

Putin stated that once Ukraine takes genuine steps towards these conditions, Russia would cease fire and initiate talks.

He warned that if the conflict continues, negotiation terms would evolve based on the changing situation on the ground.

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