Kremlin: for now, goals in Ukraine can only be achieved by military force

Updated: Mar 14, 2023, 10:52 GMT+00:00

(Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Tuesday that Kyiv's position means Russia's goals in Ukraine can only be achieved by military force, Russian state news agencies quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.

Russian President Putin holds annual news conference in Moscow

MOSCOW (Reuters) -The Kremlin said on Tuesday that Russia’s goals in Ukraine could only be achieved by military force at the moment, and that Kyiv needed to accept the “new realities” on the ground before a peaceful settlement could be reached.

“We have to achieve our goals. Right now this is only possible by military means due to the current position of the Kyiv regime,” Russian state news agencies quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.

Russia claims it is fighting in Ukraine to “liberate” Russian speakers in the eastern Donbas from what it has called a neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv.

Ukraine and the West say this is a baseless pretext put forward to justify a war of aggression and Moscow’s attempts to seize swathes of Ukrainian land.

Peskov later told reporters that Ukraine would have to accept the “new realities” that have emerged since Moscow launched what it calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine last February.

“All of Moscow’s requirements are well known. The de-facto situation and new realities are also well known. Without taking into account this set of issues, the transition to a peaceful settlement is impossible,” he said.

Moscow has repeatedly said that Ukraine would need to accept Russia’s claimed annexation – rejected as illegal by Kyiv, the West and most countries at the United Nations – of four regions of Ukraine that it partly occupies.

Moscow has blamed Kyiv for a breakdown in talks about a ceasefire, which stalled in the first weeks of the conflict. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said he will only consider peace settlements after Russian troops leave Ukrainian territory.

(Reporting by Reuters)

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