…but is more cautious on China
Asked on Saturday, still at the Yalta European Strategy (YES) international forum in kyiv, about Ukraine’s relations with China, which has not condemned the Russian invasion either, the Ukrainian foreign minister said he wanted a more active dialogue with Beijing.
“It’s not that we don’t have any contact at all, but we would like to hear more from them ,” argued Dmytro Kouleba. “Whenever Chinese officials say something that goes against Ukraine’s national interest, we do not hesitate to react. But in principle, we don’t see China helping Russia (…) and that’s already a good thing ,” he concluded.
Ukraine criticizes India’s neutrality…
The head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmytro Kuleba, on Saturday criticized India’s neutrality in the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, accusing this country of “benefiting” from Ukrainian and Western “sacrifices” . “You can’t be neutral and pretend that nothing happened when you basically benefit from our sacrifices ,” he said at the international forum Yalta European Strategy (YES) in Kiev.
Since the start of its invasion of Ukraine, which has earned it a series of Western sanctions including embargoes on Russian oil, Moscow has become the main supplier of crude oil to New Delhi. Indian refiners benefit from deep discounts while the price of gasoline has soared in Europe.
“India only has the opportunity to buy Russian oil at a very low price, thus solving its domestic problems, because someone dies in Ukraine and someone in Europe imposes sanctions ,” said Mr Kouleba. “I think India owes us ,” he continued.
Ukraine does not plan to shut down the Zaporizhia power plant
In the interview he gave to the Sunday newspaper, Dmytro Kouleba, the Ukrainian foreign ministry, opposes the decommissioning of the Zaporizhia power plant, currently in Russian hands, but still operated by Ukrainians .
“Under no circumstances are we interested in a stoppage. Our vital interest is to keep it connected to the Ukrainian electricity grid. This allows us first to ensure our energy security and then to be able to export electricity to the European Union. It would help you [Europeans] to cope with the consequences of gas cuts,” he says.
Emmanuel Macron spoke again by telephone on Saturday with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, about the still “very worrying” situation around the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported on Friday a “ total power cut” in the Ukrainian town of Enerhodar, where the plant is located, which “compromises the safety of operations” . In addition, the boss of the Ukrainian operator of the plant, Petro Kotin, had denounced, Friday, to Agence France-Presse the abuses perpetrated by the Russian forces on the personnel, evoking “torture, beatings , abductions” .
“The best ground for discussion with Putin is the battlefield”, according to the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
It is “useless” to speak to Vladimir Putin because “he is a liar” , declares the head of Ukrainian diplomacy to the address of Emmanuel Macron, while welcoming the diplomatic efforts of the French president. Emmanuel Macron had called on September 1 to continue the dialogue with Russia to build a peaceful solution to the Ukrainian conflict, an approach decried, including by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“It’s President Macron’s right to decide who to talk to. However, experience has shown us that the best ground for discussion with Putin is the battlefield , ” declared Dmytro Kouleba Kouleba in Le Journal du Dimanche. “Putin, you can always call him, it won’t bring results. It’s useless because he’s a liar and I think Emmanuel Macron knows it, ” he continues.
“I remember the incredible efforts he made before the war to prevent this conflict. It did not work. There are no indicators that Putin has since changed his mind or is ready to negotiate ,” said the Ukrainian foreign minister.
Ukraine would have regained 2,500 km² in the East, according to an American institute
According to The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, the advance of Ukrainian troops is greater than the figures given by kyiv. Its latest report, published on Friday, estimates the recaptured territories in the east of the country at around 2,500 square kilometers. The Ukrainian armed forces had communicated on Friday a gain of “more than 1,000 km 2 “. The Ukrainian president had mentioned “2,000 kilometers of territory” taken up since the beginning of September in his daily address , without specifying whether it was square kilometers.
According to the American institute, “the disorganized Russian forces [are] trapped by the rapid advance of the Ukrainians”. He relies in particular on images broadcast on social networks showing Russian prisoners apparently captured around Izium and surrounding towns.
The same report states that Ukrainian forces “could bring down Russian positions around Izium if they cut Russian land lines of communication” north and south of the city.
The Russian army announced on Saturday that it had “withdrawn” its forces present in the areas of Balakliïa and Izium, in eastern Ukraine. Vladislav Sokolov, head of the Russian-appointed local administration, said on social media that authorities in Izium had started evacuating residents to Russia.
The fighting in eastern Ukraine comes as another offensive is underway around Kherson in the south. Analysts suggest that Russia may have withdrawn troops from the east to reinforce this latter area, giving the Ukrainians the chance to strike at a weakened front line.
[Read more: https://www.lemonde.fr/international/live/2022/09/11/guerre-en-ukraine-en-direct-volodymyr-zelensky-juge-actuellement-impossible-la-reprise-des-negociations-avec-la-russie_6141033_3210.html#id-647252]