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Czech Foreign Minister warns the West against imposing negotiations with Moscow on Ukraine

Czech Foreign Minister warns the West against imposing negotiations with Moscow on Ukraine Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky (Photo: Getty Images)

Any peaceful initiative imposed on Ukraine without Kyiv's consent will have unpleasant consequences for the West because it won't be able to stop Russian imperialism, said Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky in an interview with Bloomberg.

Lipavsky called on Ukraine's allies to maintain their resolve, even if Kyiv doesn't achieve a quick breakthrough in its counteroffensive. He emphasized that Russia's ambitions in the east represent the "real enemy."

"If Ukraine is forced into a solution it doesn't accept, the West will lose it — and we'll have a nation of 40 million at our borders feeling betrayed," Lipavsky said in an interview in Prague. "We don't want to just defer the war. We want to end Russia's ability to expand eastward by force," he said.

Strong support

Lipavsky stressed that the support among NATO and European Union allies for Ukraine is stronger than ever. Czechia has been one of Kyiv's staunchest supporters, providing military equipment such as tanks and ammunition, as well as shelter to over 500,000 Ukrainians fleeing the war—the third-largest destination for refugees in the EU after Poland and Germany.

The Czech diplomat noted that Ukraine's formula for peace, seeking support on the Global South, has made some progress. Countries like China, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and South Africa are now willing to participate in discussions, excluding Russia.

"I'm not saying that they are leaning toward our positions, but at least we are engaging in a dialogue," he said.

Lipavsky mentioned that some initially hesitant countries are moving closer to the West's position. Many have "pragmatic considerations" and don't want to join an increasingly isolated Russia. He said that others are displeased with Moscow's aggression in the Black Sea and its withdrawal from agreements that guaranteed grain supplies.

Ukrainian perspective

In August 2023, most Ukrainians continued demonstrating their unwillingness to compromise with the aggressor to end the war. Less than 5% of Ukrainians are willing to make territorial concessions to Moscow in exchange for ending the war.

Most Ukrainians don't believe their partners will significantly reduce their support if Ukraine doesn't succeed substantially in the next 3-4 months on the battlefield. While nearly a third of Ukrainians agree with this perspective, a relative majority of about 46% do not share this view.