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In a recent interview published on Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov conveyed his staunch opposition to Ukraine’s proposed peace plan, deeming it futile due to its purportedly unacceptable conditions, including demands for Moscow’s withdrawal from captured territories. Speaking to the Moscow daily Izvestia, Lavrov asserted that any prospects for a successful peace summit hinged on revising the fundamental tenets of the proposed plan, notably advocating for Russia’s inclusion in the negotiation process.

“We are prepared to engage in discussions, but not on the basis of President Zelenskiy’s peace formula,” Lavrov asserted, questioning the credibility of any serious political endorsement of Zelenskiy’s proposal from Western capitals. Dismissing key provisions of the plan, Lavrov deemed demands for Russia’s withdrawal from territories, including Crimea, annexed in 2014, and the restoration of Ukraine’s 1991 borders, as unacceptable. Additionally, the plan’s call for holding Russia accountable for its February 2022 invasion was met with categorical rejection from Lavrov.

In response, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy reiterated his steadfast refusal to engage in negotiations with Moscow unless they adhere to the principles outlined in the peace plan. Lavrov’s remarks also addressed Switzerland’s purported assurance of Russian participation in a forthcoming peace summit, a prospect that he deemed contingent upon a revision of the plan to accommodate Russian interests.

Moreover, Lavrov criticized U.S. proposals to discuss arms deals independently from the Ukraine conflict, labeling such overtures as incongruous and reflective of a lack of diplomatic acumen within the Washington administration.

“These attempts are futile and reflect poorly on the competence of those shaping U.S. foreign policy,” Lavrov remarked, suggesting a deficiency in diplomatic expertise among U.S. policymakers. Amid escalating tensions and diplomatic impasses, the prospects for a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine crisis remain uncertain, as opposing narratives and divergent interests continue to impede substantive dialogue and reconciliation efforts.