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Kuleba says Putin not leader who made mistake, but evil, predicts his 'face-saving option' in the end

Kuleba says Putin not leader who made mistake, but evil, predicts his 'face-saving option' in the end Photo: Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

Not all friends of Ukraine consider Russian dictator Vladimir Putin evil, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba claims in an interview with Foreign Affairs.

"I think we are having two conceptual issues here. The first is that not even all of our friends view Putin as evil. And they are thinking, they still consider him as a man, as a leader who made a great mistake that he has to pay for, but not as an evil that must be eliminated as a political concept, as the way of conducting international affairs," stated Kuleba.

Kuleba emphasized that if you believe that Putin is a leader who has made a great mistake, "you come up with one strategy and one line of treatment."

"But if you see him as an evil that has to be, has to cease to exist in global affairs, I mean, not physically, then of course that's a different strategy. And I think the issue is that even some of our friends are still viewing Putin as a leader who made a mistake, not as a leader who has turned evil. Despite all the lessons he has learned then over the last 20 years of his rule," explained he.

He noted that Ukraine remembers numerous attempts to negotiate with him, to reset relations with him, to pacify him, and to engage him in cooperation, but they all failed.

"And the second conceptual issue that we are still facing is the line that Russia must not win this war. We have been saying from day one that the right way to put it is that Ukraine must win this war. Because Ukraine must win this war, and Russia must not win this war. These are also two different strategies," emphasized the minister.

Kuleba noted that these are the conceptual foundations of the current policy's shortcomings.

"And I don't want to say that everything is wrong. In fact, what the West did since February 24, 2022, is outstanding and remarkable, But it could have done much more if these two concepts were not standing in its way of victory," continued Kuleba.

The foreign minister emphasized that it is impossible to negotiate with Putin, just as it is impossible to appease him.

"The strategy must be very simple, based on what we already discussed. Militarily, politically, and economically put him in a situation where he will himself go for a 'face-saving option'. And when I say 'face-saving option', it means that because of his propaganda tools, he can sell any solution to his own people. It's not a face-saving option for international affairs. It is only for his internal purposes, because apparently, the only thing he cares for is staying in power," he added.

Negotiations between Ukraine and the Russian Federation

Ukraine and Russia held several rounds of negotiations before the full-scale invasion. Currently, the Ukrainian authorities say that Ukraine will not return to the negotiating table until Moscow withdraws its troops.

Earlier, the American television channel NBC News, with reference to American and European officials, said that the USA and the EU began to privately discuss with Ukraine the issue of possible peace negotiations with Russia. According to media reports, these conversations included the question of what Ukraine might have to give up in exchange for peace.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy refuted media reports about purported discussions of potential peace negotiations with Russia. He emphasized that no one is pressuring Ukraine in the matter of negotiations.