Currently, neither the West nor Kiev show the “political will” for peace, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova says
Moscow will not allow Ukraine to continue being a “Nazi state” that poses a threat to both Russia and other nations, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said.
In an exclusive interview with AFP published on Saturday, Zakharova confirmed that the goals of “denazification” and “demilitarization” of Ukraine, as declared by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the onset of the conflict in February 2022, remain unchanged. According to Zakharova, the events surrounding the Ukrainian crisis have underscored Russia’s belief in the necessity of launching its special military operation.
“From the very beginning of the hostilities, the [Ukrainian] neo-Nazis have been cynically using the civilian population as ‘human shields’ and brutally treating Russian prisoners of war. Their main goal in this conflict is to kill as many Russians as possible,” Zakharova explained.
We will not allow the existence on our borders of an aggressive Nazi state from whose territory there is a danger for Russia and its neighbors.
Asked about the prospects of somehow settling the conflict, Zakharova said that the only way to reach a “lasting peace” was, effectively, meeting all of Russia’s demands. “It is necessary to confirm the neutral, non-aligned and nuclear-free status of Ukraine, carry out its demilitarization and denazification, acknowledge new territorial realities, and ensure the rights of Russian-speaking citizens and national minorities living in this country,” she explained.
The spokeswoman also confirmed that Russia remains ready to resolve the conflict through diplomacy, stating that Moscow has never refused to do so. However, to make such negotiations possible, “the Kiev regime and its Western curators” must take “practical steps and show goodwill.” Thus far, neither of them have shown such “political will,” she added.
“A comprehensive, sustainable and just resolution of the conflict over Ukraine depends, to a large extent, on addressing its very causes. The West must stop pumping up the Ukrainian military with weaponry, while Kiev must cease hostilities and withdraw its troops from Russian territory,” Zakharova explained, referring to the four formerly-Ukrainian regions – Zaporozhye, Kherson, and the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics – that were incorporated into Russia after referendums last fall.