Russia on Tuesday rejected Kyiv’s proposal for a United Nations sanctioned “peace summit” by likening it to a computer error and calling it “diplomacy 404.”
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told the Associated Press on Monday that Ukraine wants a peace summit within a two-month time frame and called on UN Secretary-General António Guterres to serve as mediator.
But Kuleba said that while Kyiv will try to win the war in 2023, it does not believe that Russia would take part in the summit.
“Every war ends in a diplomatic way,” he said. “Every war ends as a result of the actions taken on the battlefield and at the negotiating table.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy proposed a 10-step “peace formula” when addressing the G7 in October which included a war tribunal to hold the Kremlin accountable for war crimes committed in Ukraine.
Increased defense aid from Western allies was also crucial in his plan to end the war, though negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin were out of the question.
Ukraine has deemed negotiating with Moscow impossible due to its “ultimatums” and illegal attempts to lay claim to Ukrainian territory, like the four regions Russia annexed earlier this year as well as Crimea, which Russia has occupied since 2014.
“What sort of ‘peace summit’ can occur without Russia,” Russian First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyansky said according to Russian state-owned news outlet Tass.
Polyansky called the proposal “diplomacy 404” and in turn said it was “very easy” to imagine a summit without Ukraine.
Kyiv argued on Monday that Russia should not even be a part of the UN Security Council and suggested it “illegally” held onto the position after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
“Russia has never gone through the legal procedure to be admitted to membership and therefore illegally occupies the seat of the USSR in the UN Security Council,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “Russia is a usurper of the Soviet Union’s seat in the UN Security Council.”
The UN chief has said he will only act as a mediator if both Russia and Ukraine want him to do so.