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Ukraine not ready to compromise with Russia, says Zelensky aide

Ukraine not ready to compromise with Russia, says Zelensky aide
US security advisor Jake Sullivan speaks next to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Ukraine Head of the Presidential Office of Ukraine Andriy Yermak during the summit on peace in Ukraine, in Stansstad near Lucerne, Switzerland, June 16, 2024.
PHOTO: Alessandro della Valle via Reuters

WASHINGTON — Ukraine is not ready to compromise with Russia and give up any territory to end the war, a senior Ukrainian official said on Tuesday (July 2) when asked about US presidential candidate Donald Trump's declaration that he could quickly end the conflict.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, told reporters during a visit to Washington that Kyiv would listen to any advice on how to achieve a "just peace" in the war. Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

"But we (are) not ready to go to the compromise for the very important things and values... independence, freedom, democracy, territorial integrity, sovereignty," he said.

Yermak's visit came ahead of next week's Nato summit in the US capital, where Ukraine is expected to be the main topic of discussion.

Trump, the Republican nominee challenging President Joe Biden, said during a debate between the pair last week that if he is re-elected in November he would quickly solve the war in Ukraine before taking office in January.

He has not offered details of how he would do that, but Reuters reported last week that two key advisers to Trump had presented him with a plan that would involve threatening to cut US assistance if Kyiv did not enter negotiations with Moscow.

Trump said during the debate, however, that he does not accept Russian President Vladimir Putin's terms. Putin has said Russia would end the war if Kyiv agreed to hand over the four regions in the east and south of the country claimed by Moscow.

Asked how Ukraine assesses that Trump would handle the war, Yermak said: "Honest answer: I don't know. Let's see."

Ukraine would lobby a new US administration to continue providing it support, he said, adding that Ukraine had received bipartisan support in Washington and polling showed most Americans still support Ukraine after two years of war.

"It will be... a decision of the American people. We will respect this choice," Yermak said of the Nov 5 presidential election.

The United States has provided Ukraine with more than US$50 billion (S$67.8 billion) worth of military aid since 2022. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Tuesday the US will soon announce more than US$2.3 billion in new security assistance for Ukraine.

ALSO READ: On Trump, Russia UN envoy says Ukraine war can't end in one day

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