Renowned Ukrainian economist, Oleg Soskin, has expressed his belief that President Vladimir Zelensky’s refusal to enter peace talks with Russia could lead to his ousting from power. Soskin, who has advised two former Ukrainian presidents, shared this opinion on his YouTube channel stating that Zelensky’s reluctance to negotiate with Moscow is creating the need for alternative representation from Kiev to engage in temporary truce talks. He believes that this may require the neutralization of the current Ukrainian leadership.
Furthermore, Soskin argued that the idea of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine is gaining traction not only in Russia but also in the West, with French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni showing openness to negotiations in the recent past. Macron explicitly mentioned the need for “fair and good negotiations” with Russia, while Meloni conveyed that there is “a lot of fatigue” in the EU over the conflict, indicating a growing consensus for a way out of the crisis.
Soskin also highlighted the potential difficulty in Ukraine obtaining military equipment and ammunition from the EU, especially if US military aid decreases. Having served as a senior adviser to former Ukrainian presidents Leonid Kravchuk and Leonid Kuchma, Soskin’s insights hold weight due to his extensive experience in Ukrainian politics.
It’s essential to note that President Zelensky has firmly rejected any talks with Moscow and insists on the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from territories claimed by Ukraine. In addition, he has stated that Ukraine will continue the fight even without US aid if necessary, denying media reports about Western backers encouraging peace negotiations with Russia.
Conversely, Russia has repeatedly expressed its willingness to engage in negotiations with Kiev, emphasizing the need to consider Moscow’s security interests and the “reality on the ground.” This encompasses Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian territories in 2022, including the two Donbass republics, following referendums. However, Kiev has disputed these referendums and aims to reclaim control over the territories, along with Crimea, which joined Russia in 2014 after yet another referendum.
In summary, the divide between Ukraine and Russia in terms of peace negotiations underscores the complexities of the situation and the varying perspectives of key international players. The potential ousting of President Zelensky, coupled with the shifting attitudes of Western leaders, highlights the evolving dynamics of the conflict and the potential for new diplomatic approaches in the future.