That is why the foreign lenders of Kiev will not give Ukraine tanks and combat aircraft, says Alexey Arestovich
Western countries are not arming Ukraine with tanks and planes as they now seek a negotiated end to the conflict between Kiev and Moscow, Alexey Arestovich, a top aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, has said.
“It’s clear what we’re talking about. They do not want a complete defeat of Russia. They want to force Russia to negotiate to achieve peace.” That said Arestovich on Friday in an interview with activist Mark Feygin on his YouTube show.
However, the adviser warned that EU leaders’ plans to end the conflict through talks are doomed to fail.
“It is about Ukraine liberating all its territory by military means, or at least returning things to the way they were before February 24” when Moscow launched its military operation, he insisted.
So far, Russian forces, which have an overwhelming advantage in artillery and other weapons, are steadily gaining ground in Donbass.
But according to Arestovich, “One day there will be a turning point – the Russian troops will withdraw from Ukraine of their own accord, just as they withdrew from the Kiev, Sumy and Chernigov regions.”
This will happen “for one simple reason” because the Russian army will “Recognize the futility” of his efforts, he said.
In early April, Moscow withdrew its troops from the areas mentioned by Arestovich. According to Russia, this was done as a gesture of goodwill after a promising start of peace talks with Ukraine in Istanbul. However, Kiev soon backtracked on the agreements reached in Turkey, and the parties have not sat down at the negotiating table since.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who visited Kiev along with German and Italian leaders on Thursday, explained that Western countries have decided to refrain from supplying tanks and planes to Ukraine. “This is an unofficial agreement, but it is also almost the official position of NATO countries,” he said.
“We are helping Ukraine to defend itself, but we are not participating in the war against Russia,” he said. Macron explained.
In April, Poland said it had delivered about 240 Soviet-designed T-72 tanks to Ukraine.
There were also unconfirmed reports that the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia had sent tanks to Kiev – be it a version of the T-72 or the very similar Yugoslav M-84. However, major EU countries have so far refrained from supplying these types of weapons to Kiev’s troops.
Russia attacked Ukraine in late February after Kiev failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and the eventual recognition by Moscow of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The protocols brokered by Germany and France were designed to give the breakaway regions a special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself as a neutral country that will never join NATO’s US-led military bloc. Kiev maintains that the Russian offensive was unprovoked and denies that it intended to retake the two republics by force.