Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the idea of a “just peace” is hard to imagine for Ukrainian parents who have lost children amid Russia’s invasion of their country.
The White House said Zelensky and President Biden would discuss what a just peace could look like and a potential end to the war in Ukraine in their bilateral meeting earlier in the day.
“I don’t know what just peace is. It’s a very philosophical description. If there is a just war, I don’t know.” Zelensky said at the White House alongside Biden.
“For all of us, just peace is different. For me as the president, just peace is no compromises as to the sovereignty, freedom and territorial integrity of my country. The payback for all the damages inflicted by Russian aggression,” he said.
Apologizing for talking about children multiple times in the press conference, the Ukrainian president emphasized his point, noting that he is a father.
“You know how many parents lost their sons, daughters on the front lines? So what is just peace for them? Money is nothing, and no compensations or reparations are of no consequence,” he said during the historic wartime press conference.
He added that as long as the war lasts, there will be more tragedies among the Ukrainian people.
“There will be more parents who live for the sake of vengeance or revenge, and I know a lot of people by that,” he said.
“There can’t be any just peace in the war that was imposed to us by these — I don’t know how to describe that because we are in the White House and I can’t find the proper language. So these inhumans, I would say,” he said, referring to the Russians.
Biden said at the press conference that Zelensky is open to pursuing peace and placed the blame on Russian President Vladimir Putin for the continuing brutality in Ukraine.
“He’s not open, but you’re open to pursuing peace,” Biden said to Zelensky, referring to Putin. “You’re open to pursuing a just peace. We also know that Putin has no intention … to stopping this cruel war.”
Biden pledged during the press conference that the U.S. will help Ukraine succeed on the battlefield against the Russians before any peace talks take place.
The president announced on Wednesday that the U.S. is providing an additional $2 billion in security and humanitarian assistance that included a Patriot missile battery, an advanced aerial defense system to help Ukraine defend against Russia’s targeted attacks on the country’s energy and electricity infrastructure.
Zelensky and his top officials have been warning in recent days that Russia is preparing to renew its invasion on Ukraine with a massive ground offensive with an estimated 200,000 troops in the coming months.
Biden on Wednesday said that Putin is “escalating his assaults on civilians” and trying to “use winter as a weapon.”
Source: The Hill