A demilitarized zone between 100 and 120 kilometers wide (62 to 75 miles) must be established on Russia’s border territory with Ukraine as part of any postwar deal, an adviser to Ukraine’s presidential office said.
Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the head of the Ukrainian President’s Office, said the demilitarized zone should cover Russia’s Belgorod, Bryansk, Kursk and Rostov regions to protect adjacent territories in Ukraine.
“To ensure the real security of the residents of the Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Zaporizhzhia, Lugansk and Donetsk regions and protect them from shelling, it will be necessary to introduce a 100-120 km demilitarization zone,” Podolyak wrote in a tweet on Monday.
such an area, that cannot be used or occupied by military forcesit would likely require “a mandatory international control contingent at the first stage,” Podolyak said.
A demilitarized zone should be a “key issue” of a postwar deal, said the presidential aide, who has 1.2 million followers on Twitter, adding that such a buffer “would prevent a recurrence of aggression in the future.”
The key issue of the post-war agreement must be the establishment of safeguards to prevent a repeat of aggression in the future. To ensure real security for the residents of the Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk and Donetsk regions and to protect them from shelling, it is…
— Mykhailo Podolyak (@Podolyak_M) May 29, 2023
The International Committee of the Red Cross says there are detailed rules for the creation and recognition of demilitarized zones and the concept is not far removed from hospital zones and other areas considered neutral during conflicts.
An aide to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also said on Monday that Ukraine had no interest in any ceasefire that would secure Russian territorial gains.
Top diplomatic adviser Ihor Zhovkva also rejected international peace initiatives by China, Brazil, the Vatican and South Africa, saying the time for mediation with Moscow had passed.
“In this period of open warfare, we do not need mediators. It is too late for mediation,” he said. “There cannot be a Brazilian peace plan, a Chinese peace plan, a South African peace plan when you talk about the war in Ukraine,” Zhovkva said in an interview with the Reuters news agency.
Russia has said it is open to peace talks with kyiv, which stalled a few months after the invasion. But Moscow also insists that any talks be based on “new realities,” which means recognition of the annexation of five Ukrainian provinces it controls in whole or in part, a condition Kiev will not agree to.
China has touted a 12-point vision of peace, which calls for a ceasefire but does not condemn the invasion or force Russia to withdraw from the occupied territories.
Beijing, which has close ties to the Russian leadership, sent the main envoy Li Hui to kyiv and Moscow this month to encourage peace talks.
Zhovkva said the envoy was briefed in detail on the situation on the battlefield, at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, the power grid and the transfer of Ukrainian children to Russia, which Kiev says is a Russian war crime.
“He listened very carefully. There was no immediate response…we’ll see. China is a wise country, which understands its role in international affairs,” Zhovkva said.
The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington, DC-based think tank, said on Monday that China’s Foreign Ministry had denied a report in the Wall Street Journal that China’s special representative for foreign affairs Eurasians had urged European officials to try to end the war. war in Ukraine before it escalates or consider recognizing annexed Russian territory in Ukraine.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning denied the report, adding that Ukraine was now at a “critical juncture” and China would continue to work with all parties to resolve the crisis, the institute said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning denied a @WSJ report that #PorcelainChina’s Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui urged European officials to end the conflict in #Ukraine before it escalates. https://t.co/yvUY7gYFDU https://t.co/jClvvEglgo
— ISW (@TheStudyofWar) May 30, 2023