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Time to find ‘another way’ to resolve Ukraine conflict – NATO member

Italian defense chief Guido Crosetto believes the hostilities can only be stopped at the negotiating table

It is time for all countries involved in the Ukraine conflict to start looking for a political solution to the crisis, Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto said on Saturday.

The defense chief noted, as quoted by the ANSA news agency, that as the fighting between Moscow and Kiev is about to enter its third year, “it is important to take paths that lead to a political solution.” He stressed, however, that these efforts must coincide with continued military support for Ukraine.

The minister pointed out that while the West had succeeded in ensuring Ukraine’s “preservation,” its other goals remain unfulfilled. “What cannot be achieved militarily… can be achieved by opening a diplomatic and political front to try to achieve the same result through peace talks,” he said.

Crosetto also highlighted that “what existed before the war must be restored, and what could not be done with weapons must be done in another way.” 

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NATO member states, including the US, which has emerged as Kiev’s main backer, have insisted that they would continue their support for Ukraine “as long as it takes” while taking steps to bring the embattled country closer to the bloc’s military standards. Russia, which has historically seen NATO’s expansion toward its borders as a threat, has said the Ukraine’s push to join the bloc was one of the key reasons behind the conflict.

The Italian defense minister already warned in early October that the hostilities between Moscow and Kiev were unlikely to be resolved on the battlefield. At the time, he explained that the “more time passes, the more the possibility of helping Ukraine with resources that are not unlimited decreases,” while pointing to serious problems Kiev had encountered in its unsuccessful attempts to push back Russian troops.

Kiev launched a much-hyped counteroffensive in early summer but has failed to gain any significant ground while suffering heavy losses both in manpower and Western-supplied equipment. Moscow has estimated Ukrainian casualties since the start of the offensive at around 160,000 troops.

While President Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree banning talks with the current leadership in Moscow last autumn after four former Ukrainian regions overwhelmingly voted to join Russia, Moscow has repeatedly said it is ready for peace talks with Kiev.

December 24, 2023 at 04:20PM

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