- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has compared relations with Putin to negotiating with a crocodile.
- Ukraine and Russia are unlikely to achieve peace through negotiations given Putin’s “lack of good faith”, he said.
- Johnson said Zelenskyy also had a “rather maximalist stance” on the war in Donbass.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said Ukraine and Russia are unlikely to achieve peace through negotiations, likening talks with Russian leader Vladimir Putin to handling a ‘crocodile’ .
“I really don’t see how Ukrainians can easily sit down and find some kind of accommodation. How can you negotiate with a crocodile when it has its leg in its mouth?” Johnson said on a flight to India on Wednesday, The Guardian reported.
“I think it’s very difficult to see how the Ukrainians can negotiate with Putin now, given his obvious lack of good faith and his strategy, which is obvious, of trying to gobble up and capture so many people. Ukraine as possible and then maybe to have some sort of negotiation from a position of strength or even launch another assault on Kyiv,” the prime minister said.
Johnson said that as a result, the UK and the rest of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization should continue their strategy of supplying arms to Ukraine, according to The Guardian.
He also said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had taken a “quite maximalist stance” on the war in Donbass with the ambition to expel all Russian troops in Donetsk and Luhansk, Reuters reported. The “liberation” of Donbass has long been one of Moscow’s war aims.
“But in Crimea they are not so maximalist,” he said, referring to Ukrainian territory annexed by Russia in 2014.
Johnson added that on the other hand, Putin has shown a clear desire to seize more land in Ukraine and could make another push towards kyiv, which Russian forces have failed to take after weeks of fighting. assault on the capital, according to Reuters.
Peace talks between Kyiv and Moscow have stalled since diplomats from the two sides met on March 29, largely because Ukraine said it uncovered evidence of massacres in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha , after the departure of the Russian forces.
Johnson is traveling to India to liaise with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discuss the possibility of India providing support for Ukraine – an unlikely scenario given India’s existing ties with Russia, said he said, according to Reuters.
“I have already spoken to Narendra Modi about Ukraine. And in fact Indians have condemned what happened in Bucha,” he said. “But the UK in particular needs to recognize that there is a historic relationship between India and Russia. I think we need to be aware of that, and just point out where Putin is, I’m afraid, trying to to let Russia down.”