An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has questioned claims by Russian President Vladimir Putin that Russia is open to negotiations with Ukraine to end the war.
Mykhailo Podolyak, Zelensky’s adviser, said on his Twitter account that Putin “needs to come back to reality.”
Podolyak argued that Russia does not want negotiations and evading its responsibility for the war it started.
“Russia single-handedly attacked Ukraine and is killing citizens. There are no other ‘countries, motives, geopolitics,'” Podolyak said. “Russia doesn’t want negotiations but tries to avoid responsibility. This is obvious, so we are moving to the Tribunal.”
Podolyak’s comments echoed remarks made by President Joe Biden that Putin has no intention of stopping the war.
Biden said Putin failed in his objective to capture Ukraine and now relying on attacking the civilian population.
On Sunday, Putin said in his interview with Russian state television Rossiya 1 that Russia is ready to negotiate with all concerned parties regarding the war.
“We are ready to negotiate with everyone involved about acceptable solutions, but that is up to them – we are not the ones refusing to negotiate, they are,” Putin said, Reuters reported.
Putin insisted they were acting in the “right direction” by launching a so-called special military operation against Ukraine, accusing the U.S. of trying to tear Russia apart.
The Russian leader has also accused the West of starting the conflict in Ukraine by ousting Viktor Yanukovych, a pro-Russian president, in 2014.
Last week, Putin hinted that Russia was willing to pursue a diplomatic solution to end the conflict. But the Russian leader accused Kyiv of refusing to negotiate.
But the prospects of a peace negotiation are overshadowed by a possible fresh Russian offensive against Ukraine by early next year.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said a new wave of Russian offensive could start as early as February 2023, when almost half of the mobilized Russian troops had already finished their military training.
Ukraine’s Armed Forces commander-in-chief Valery Zaluzhny also warned of new attacks, saying the Russian military could launch another attempt to seize Kyiv.
As the war in Ukraine marked Christmas Day, the latest data from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine showed that over 102,000 Russian military personnel have died on the battlefield.