Russian ambassador warns Washington: accept peace terms or face further Ukrainian territorial losses

Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, has warned that Ukraine stands to lose more territory amid current military advancements in the Kharkiv region. He touted these gains as significant achievements for the Russian army.

Antonov responded to a Reuters report suggesting that the Kremlin might be considering a halt to the war against Ukraine. In an interview with Newsweek, he asserted that Washington would have to "agree to Russia's peace proposals."

"We view the statements from the American administration about Russia’s alleged unwillingness to engage in peace negotiations as a deliberate attempt to mislead.

Given the key successes of Russian forces in the Kharkiv region, there can be no talk of freezing the conflict, and our President has made no such statements.

I stress that any Russian-Ukrainian agreements must reflect the situation on the ground. The Constitution of Russia clearly defines the boundaries of our state, including the new federal subjects," Antonov stated.

The Russian diplomat also suggested that negotiations are unfeasible since, according to Russian media, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is no longer legitimate due to the expiration of his five-year term in office this month.

However, the Ukrainian constitution ensures continuous leadership during wartime, and the martial law legislation prevents the holding of elections. Zelensky dismissed Russian assertions as uninspired in an interview with Central Asian media.

President Vladimir Putin has asserted that the Russian Federation requires substantial, legally binding security guarantees. Yet, in the current situation in Ukraine, it is unclear who could sign such a document, given Zelensky's expired mandate and alleged loss of legitimacy. This is a serious issue that warrants discussion," claimed Antonov.

Additionally, Antonov described the Global Peace Summit in Switzerland, which will address steps to end the Russia-Ukraine war and to which Russia was not invited, as "illegitimate" and a "farce."

Ukraine maintains that it wants to first develop a clear plan and then inform Russia afterwards to prevent any disruption of its adoption.

"In reality, this initiative is nothing but a farce designed to distract the global community from the pressing issues of our time. It is futile to substitute serious diplomatic and legal work with empty talk and repetitive political slogans.

Moreover, the Swiss assembly has no authority to confirm Zelensky’s legitimacy. It simply lacks the jurisdiction," Antonov continued.

"If Washington disregards Russian peace proposal once more, Ukrainians will lose even more territory," he added.

President Volodymyr Zelensky and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba have linked unexpected Kremlin leaks to Western media to Russia’s attempts to derail the Swiss summit.

In Zelensky's view, the potential effectiveness of the summit is what unsettles the Kremlin leader.

  War in Ukraine, Zelensky, Putin