Zelensky warns Russia seeks truce to ‘restore strength’, calls on US and allies to implement 10-step peace plan

Russia is seeking a “short truce”, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who on Saturday warned Western leaders not to think this could mean “the end of the war”.

“The end of the war does not guarantee peace,” Zelensky said in a speech at the Halifax International Security Forum 2022. “Russia is now looking for a short truce – a respite to restore strength.” A deadline will only exacerbate the situation.”

Zelensky’s comments show that he is unwilling to stop the fighting until his forces completely remove the invading forces from Ukrainian territory – including Crimea, which Russia has occupied since 2014.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pays a surprise visit to Kherson on November 14, 2022, in Kherson, Ukraine.
(Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

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It is unclear when or if Russia formally requested a “short truce” after several defeats on the battlefield as the winter months approached.

Senior US defense officials such as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin suggested this week that, historically speaking, wars during the winter generally slow down, which could provide an opportunity for Kyiv to enter peace talks with Moscow.

But Zelensky has rejected previous calls for peace talks and remains adamant that there can be no such negotiations until the invading Russian forces leave Ukraine.

“Any thoughts expressed about the concessions of our land or our sovereignty cannot be called peace,” he said on Saturday. “Immoral compromises will lead to new blood.”

“A true, lasting and sincere peace will only be the result of the complete destruction of Russian aggression,” he added.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pays a surprise visit to Kherson on November 14, 2022, in Kherson, Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pays a surprise visit to Kherson on November 14, 2022, in Kherson, Ukraine.
(Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

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Zelensky outlined a 10-step “peace formula” that he urged Western leaders on Saturday to help implement to end the war permanently.

Not only does the strategy call for Russia to withdraw all its forces from Ukraine and set up a war crimes tribunal, but it lists nuclear, food, and energy security as key elements of concern.

Zelensky’s list also includes environmental initiatives to restore destroyed lands and forests, prisoner exchanges, forcible returns of deportees, and a post-war security plan to prevent another attack from Russia.

“These are challenges that must be overcome for the security of Ukraine, Europe and the world. This is the formula for peace for the world,” he said.

FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin, second from right, gestures as he visits Deputy Commander of the Airborne Forces Anatoly Kuntsevoy, right, a Western Military District military training center for mobilized reservists in Ryazan Region, Russia, on October 20, 2022. .

FILE – Russian President Vladimir Putin, second from right, gestures as he visits Deputy Commander of the Airborne Forces Anatoly Kuntsevoy, right, a Western Military District military training center for mobilized reservists in Ryazan Region, Russia, on October 20, 2022. .
(Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)

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Zelensky first presented his 10-step plan at the G20 conference earlier this month but called on defense officials on Saturday to help Ukraine implement the plan.

“This is the only way to true peace,” he said.

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