Ukraine gives Russia two options: Leave Crimea peacefully or be ready for battle

By | April 9, 2023

Politico reports:

Ukraine has not changed its plans for the return of territory occupied by Russia, including Crimea.

“Ukraine will choose the way to bring Crimea back, using political and military means,” Tamila Tasheva, the Ukrainian president’s envoy on Crimea, told POLITICO.

“To minimize Ukrainian military losses, minimize threats to civilians who live in occupied territories, as well as the destruction of civilian infrastructure, Ukraine plans to give Russia a choice on how to leave Crimea. If they don’t agree to leave voluntarily, Ukraine will continue to liberate its land by military means,” Tasheva added.

Her comments come after Andriy Sybiha, deputy head of the president’s office, gave an interview to the Financial Times in which he said Ukraine might be ready to discuss the future of Crimea with Moscow if Kyiv succeeds in achieving its strategic goals on the battlefield.

“We are ready to open [a] diplomatic page to discuss this issue,” Sybiha said in the interview, referring to Kyiv’s long-planned counteroffensive. “It doesn’t mean that we exclude the way of liberation [of Crimea] by our army.”

Sybiha’s comments were presented as Ukraine expressing an interest in negotiations with Russia for the first time since it officially ruled out peace talks with Vladimir Putin last fall. [Continue reading…]