Any agreement between Ukraine and the Russian Federation like Minsk-3 is a postponed war that will bring much more victims and risks to the existence of our state. At the same time, concluding an agreement on security guarantees is a matter of a proper end to the war in Europe. Mykhailo Podolyak, Adviser to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine and a member of the Ukrainian delegation at the negotiations with Russia, said this in an interview with LB.ua.
According to him, due to the strong Russian lobby and their own indecision, some politicians in Europe are beginning to say that Ukraine must stop fighting and make some "peace" with Russia in the current positions. So far, individual political groups are talking about this, and this does not mean that Europe will refuse to support Ukraine. But this means that today it is difficult for our country to prove the need to provide the Ukrainian army with heavy weapons.
"Because Europe believes that we must stand where we stand today. And they directly say: God forbid, some Ukrainian projectile will hit the territory of the Russian Federation. That is, Europe is gradually starting to say strange things," Mykhailo Podolyak said.
"We can't support any of the options that are being talked about. We can't agree on Minsk-3 - that's obvious. Because it's a ticket to a postponed war. We cannot talk about a ceasefire before the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. It is clear that they will dig trenches, create their own fortification lines, and it will be very difficult for us to drive them out of Ukraine. We cannot agree to any ultimatum from Russia, because it will mean that they win. And any, even small victory of Russia only means escalation. Russia is an expansionist state, which offers the world one idea: we will enter any territory and take it away or destroy it," said the Adviser to the Head of the Office of the President.
According to him, the public opinion of the Western world is definitely on the side of Ukraine, and European politicians, to please their societies, say that they provide a lot of help to our state, but in terms of the amount we need, this is not the case at all.
"Russia has concentrated all possible resources in the east of our country, from all its military districts. They have been conducting covert mobilization since April 1. And we are not a military state, we lived in another world, invested money in development," he said.
Mykhailo Podolyak is convinced that if Europe supports any pro-Russian concepts, in particular on forcing Ukraine to make territorial concessions, it will mean that Europe is dying.
The Adviser to the Head of the President's Office noted that the negotiation process between Ukraine and Russia is currently suspended in the political and diplomatic part, but it is continued in the humanitarian part - on the exchange of prisoners, humanitarian corridors and evacuation of people.
"Why has the political and diplomatic part been stopped? Because negotiations are a question of inter-relation between what is happening in the real world, not only on the battlefield, but in general: sanctions, reputation, partners. Russia is inadequately looking at all this. This is a phenomenon that will also be included in textbooks," Mykhailo Podolyak is convinced.
At the same time, according to him, when the Russians begin to suffer significant military defeats in Ukraine, they will probably assess the reality more adequately.
"When the pressure of sanctions works in full, they will begin to understand. When certain leaders, especially European ones, with whom they are still communicating, start talking not as Kissinger, but as anti-Kissinger. Then they will look at the situation more objectively," said the Adviser to the Head of the Office of the President.
He noted that President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is best informed about the economic, military situation and the psychological state of society, may decide that a certain tool, including negotiations, is needed right now.
"This will be the decision of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief given the operational situation as of the day when he will make such a decision," Mykhailo Podolyak explained.
He reiterated that any so-called Minsk-3 is a war postponed for a year.
"What does this mean for us? Many more victims and greater risks to Ukraine's existence. Because if Russia doesn't lose, it will accumulate weapons, prepare reserves, work on mistakes, remove generals who work very "effectively" today, take young lieutenant colonels and colonels who understand how to fight, and we will get a much bloodier war in a year. We have no chance to compromise and make concessions," said the Adviser to the Head of the President's Office.
Therefore, according to him, Ukraine needs an agreement on security guarantees.
"The issue of guarantees is a matter of the proper end of the war in Europe. That is, we return to the key thing - the willingness of the global elite to take responsibility. Because just forming an alliance is one story, and taking responsibility, for example, on the border with the Russian Federation, is another,” he said.
Mykhailo Podolyak also said that for him personally the victory of our state would mean the following: "This is territorial integrity within the full, internationally recognized borders of Ukraine, the Iron Curtain with Russia, Russia's worthless, completely zero reputation."