Russia on Tuesday mocked Ukraine’s proposal to hold a “peace” summit at the United Nations by the end of February.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Monday said Moscow must be prosecuted for war crimes at an international court before the summit, which would be mediated by U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres.
Russia’s Permanent Representative to the U.N. Dmitry Polyansky said in a translated Telegram post that Ukraine’s request for a peace summit along with the statement that Russia was illegally a member of the U.N. are both “mutually exclusive claims.”
Kuleba said Russia “can only be invited” to the summit if Moscow faces a war-crimes tribunal first.
“What can be a ‘peace summit’ without Russia? It’s very easy to imagine it without Ukraine,” Polyansky said.
In response to the summit proposal, U.N. spokesperson Florencia Soto Nino-Martinez said: “As the secretary-general has said many times in the past, he can only mediate if all parties want him to mediate.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview aired Sunday that the Kremlin is “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.”
If held at the end of February, the proposed summit could coincide with the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Ukraine says Russian forces have carried out at least 34,000 possible war crimes since the start of the invasion. In March, the United States formally declared that Russian service members committed war crimes. The Kremlin has dismissed the allegations.