Russia’s foreign minister has told the UN that Ukraine’s proposed peace plan and the latest proposals to revive the Black Sea grain initiative were “not realistic”.
Sergei Lavrov spoke at a press conference on 23 September after a week of intense global diplomacy at the annual gathering of world leaders at UN headquarters in New York where Ukraine and its western allies sought to drum up support for Kyiv.
“It is completely not feasible,” Lavrov said of a 10-point peace blueprint promoted by Kyiv. “It is not possible to implement this. It’s not realistic and everybody understands this but, at the same time, they say this is the only basis for negotiations.”
The peace formula developed by the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, includes respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and the restoration of UN principles and adherence to international law.
Lavrov said the conflict would be resolved on the battlefield if Kyiv and its western allies stick to their stance.
He added that Moscow left the Black Sea grain initiative because promises made to Russia – including on removing sanctions on a Russian bank and reconnecting it to the global Swift payments system – had not been met.
He said the latest UN proposals to revive the export corridor for Ukrainian agricultural products were “simply not realistic”.
Lavrov said he would visit Pyongyang next month to continue negotiations with his counterpart there following recent agreements made by the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Moscow.
Lavrov accused the west of a neo-colonial mindset in its overtures to the global south to win backing for Ukraine in the war.
Instead, Lavrov spoke of a “global majority” that was being duped by the west, which he described as an “empire of lies”.