Germany criticizes Russia's reluctancy on Ukraine peace talks

The Nation  |  Feb 01, 2023

 Germany criticizes Russia's reluctancy on Ukraine peace talks

Germany on Wednesday criticized Russia for its hesitancy in agreeing to mediation efforts to end the war with Ukraine.

“What is lacking at the moment is not so much the lack of mediators as the Russian side’s willingness to engage in mediation efforts at all. That’s the fact, you shouldn’t let yourself be blinded,” Steffen Hebestreit, spokesperson for the German government, told reporters in Berlin.

He said several countries have offered to mediate between the two sides, including Türkiye, Brazil, and Israel.

Hebestreit was cautious over Brazil’s proposal, saying it remains to be seen “if anything can come of it.”

Earlier this week, Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva surprisingly brought his country and China into play as possible mediators.

“I propose to found a club of countries that want to create peace on this planet,” he said at a joint press conference on Monday after talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Brasilia.

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Calling for jumpstarting peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, he said it was necessary “to form a group of countries that is strong enough and respected and sits down with the two at a negotiating table.”

Lula’s stance on peace talks was in contrast to the German chancellor, who has repeatedly said that negotiations can only begin once Russian troops withdraw from Ukraine.

According to Hebestreit, the Brazilian peace proposal was not previously discussed with Scholz.

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