THE UNITED STATES prohibited Ukraine from conducting peace negotiations with Russia in March 2022, Germany’s former chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder has claimed.
Schroeder said in an interview published by Germany’s Berliner Zeitung newspaper last Friday that, while representatives of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky were open to making concessions on key issues such as renouncing efforts to join NATO, the US did not agree to peace talks.
‘The Ukrainians did not agree to peace because they were not allowed to. They first had to ask the Americans about everything they discussed,’ said Schroeder, who was asked to help mediate the peace negotiations between Ukrainian and Russian officials in Istanbul just weeks after Moscow launched its military operation in February 2022.
‘My impression is that nothing could happen because everything else was decided in Washington.’
He said Washington’s strategy was ‘fatal’ which resulted in closer ties between Russia and China.
Schroeder noted: ‘Now, it is the case that two actors, China and Russia, who are limited by the USA, are joining forces.
‘Americans believe they are strong enough to keep both sides in check.
‘In my humble opinion, this is a mistake. Just look how torn the American side is now. Look at the chaos in Congress.’
Schroeder also slammed Washington’s allies in Western Europe who ‘failed’ to seize the opportunity to push for peace in March 2022.
At the time, he added, Zelensky was open to compromise on Crimea and the breakaway territories in the Donbas region.
Since that time, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian troops have been killed as Western military aid prolongs the conflict.
‘The arms deliveries are not a solution for eternity, but no one wants to talk,’ Schroeder said.
‘(German Chancellor Olaf) Scholz and (French President Emmanuel) Macron should actually support a peace process in Ukraine because it’s not just an American matter but above all a European matter.’
He added that one of the justifications for arming Ukraine – alleged Russian expansionism – had no basis in reality.
‘This fear of the Russians coming is absurd,’ Schroeder said.
However, he added: ‘Western leaders must understand that no matter who is in power in Moscow, Russia won’t allow either Ukraine or Georgia to be absorbed by NATO’ and without accepting this fact, ‘peace will be difficult to achieve.’
US presidential candidate Robert Kennedy Jr. previously made a similar statement.
In June, he said that the United States wanted to derail peace talks between Russia and Ukraine in order to prolong the conflict by sending former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Ukraine to sabotage efforts to resolve the Ukrainian crisis.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in recent remarks last Wednesday, said that Western officials had hinted at greater readiness to hold negotiations over Ukraine, in particular the European Union foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, but demanded ‘more practical steps’.
Senior officials in Moscow have accused the West of becoming directly involved in the Ukraine war by supplying the country with weapons and training its soldiers, warning that such measures will not stop Russian troops from defending its objectives and that arming Kiev would only prolong the war.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has said openly that many foreign ministers of EU countries have started talking about ‘fatigue’ from the conflict in Ukraine.
According to him, the Ukrainian issue was the second topic on the agenda of the EU top diplomats’ meeting after the situation in the Middle East, where the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian radical group Hamas has escalated.
Speaking to Hungarian reporters in Luxembourg Szijjarto said: ‘I would like to start with the fact that many of my colleagues are talking about Ukraine fatigue.
‘Ukraine fatigue – that’s what they call it in English.
‘It is very difficult to maintain public and media interest in what is happening in Ukraine,’ the foreign minister explained.
‘I think that if this is true, it further emphasises the need to establish peace (in Ukraine) as soon as possible.’
Following the meeting with his European Union counterparts in Luxembourg the Hungarian foreign minister stated that Hungary is against the EU taking part in the production of arms and training of soldiers in Ukraine because that would mean the bloc’s member countries being drawn into military operations against Russia.
Szijjarto declared: ‘The production of weapons or training of servicemen on the territory of Ukraine, in the combat zone, is absolutely unacceptable for us, because such a decision would immediately draw the European Union into war.’
He insisted that the EU is a political and economic bloc, not a military alliance.
Szijjarto also said that Hungary would not allow any pressure to be exerted on it as part of efforts to speed up the process of Ukraine’s admission to the EU.
‘The European Union is not a security organisation, it is about political and economic integration, so it is completely unacceptable for us to justify the future membership of only one country by security considerations,’ Szijjarto said.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s western-backed authorities have announced the mandatory evacuation of children from the remaining Kiev-controlled areas of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Kherson Region.
The Ukrainian ‘Ministry of Reintegration’ said on its Telegram channel on Monday that around 250 children accompanied by one of their parents or a legally authorised ‘caretaker’ are to be evacuated from eight DPR settlements controlled by Ukrainian troops.
Forty-one children have already been taken to what they call a ‘humanitarian hub’ to be ‘further accommodated’ in the Zhitomir Region.
The military administration of the Kiev-controlled part of the Kherson region told the Strana media outlet that minors are to be mandatorily evacuated from 21 settlements on the right bank of the Dnieper River.
- Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in reply to US President Joe Biden on Monday that the world is indeed in need of a new order, but not under the aegis of the United States.
Peskov stressed that such a world order should be based on international law, mutual respect and mutual benefit, as well as non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.
‘We absolutely agree with Mr Biden. This is a rare occasion when we absolutely agree with what he said. Indeed, the world is in need of a new order, (but one) based on entirely different principles (than those the US promotes),’ he said.
The Kremlin believes that any future world order must be free of any attempts to concentrate all control mechanisms in the hands of a single country, and of all attempts by a single power to impose its will and its decisions on other countries.
‘There should be a world order based on international law, not on “rules”. It should be based on mutual respect, mutual benefit, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, and so on,’ Peskov added.
The Kremlin disagrees, however, with Biden on the other part of his statement, Peskov continued.
‘Mr Biden also said that the United States is capable of building such an order. We disagree with this part of his statement.’
The United States, ‘one way or another, whatever world order it may be talking about, has a US-centric world order in mind.
‘That is, a world that revolves around the United States. This will no longer be the case,’ he stated.