Ukrainian officials say peace talks involving Putin would be "impossible."
They pointed to the recent ICC arrest warrant issued for Putin.
Ukraine's top diplomat told Politico all Putin wants is more war and more dead Ukrainians.
Top Ukrainian officials completely rejected the prospect of holding peace talks if Russian President Vladimir Putin is sitting at the negotiation table, particularly after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for the Russian leader over allegations of involvement in the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children.
"We knew long before the ICC arrest warrant that talking to Putin made no sense. Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council adopted a legal resolution on September 30 of last year declaring that any negotiations with Vladimir Putin were impossible in response to Russia's attempted annexation of additional Ukrainian territories," Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine's top diplomat, said in a new interview with Politico.
Kuleba emphasized that Ukraine was not opposed to diplomacy or talks to end the war but underscored that it would be "impossible" to hold negotiations with Putin — particularly following the Russian leader's illegal annexation of Ukrainian territories.
"Putin has ignored everything; all he wants is more war, more Ukrainian children stolen, more Ukrainians murdered, and more Ukrainian land was taken. How does one deal with such evil? One crushes it by force," Kuleba said.
Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov expressed similar sentiments and made the case that Putin should also be put on trial for the downing of the the Malaysian airliner MH17 back in 2014.
Last month, international investigators said there were "strong indications" Putin approved supplying Kremlin-backed separatists with the missile that was used to bring the plane down over eastern Ukraine — killing 298 people in the process. But the investigators also said there was no evidence that Putin ordered the plane to be shot down.
"It's 2023 and this motherfucker still bears no responsibility. Now we have to talk to him after he killed 500 of our own children? What is the world we live in?" Danilov said to Politico.
Russia and Ukraine are locked in a grinding war of attrition, and both have suffered heavy casualties over more than a year of fighting. The war is largely stalemated at this point, with the heaviest fighting occuring in the eastern Donbas region.
Putin hosted Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Moscow this week, and the two released a joint statement endorsing "peace talks" for the war. China issued a peace plan for Ukraine last month. The plan, which has been met with deep skepticism in the West, does not call for Russia to withdraw troops from Ukrainian territories. And as Putin and Xi discussed "peace," Russia launched fresh missile and drone attacks in Ukraine.
"Every time someone tries to hear the word 'peace' in Moscow, another order is given there for such criminal strikes," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a tweet on Wednesday. Zelenskyy went on to say that the success of Ukrainian forces "on the land, in the sky and at sea really brings peace closer."
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