Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said on Saturday that the country was willing to talk to stop the war that began with Russia’s invasion more than two weeks ago, but that the country would not surrender or accept any ultimatums.
Kuleba added that if Ukraine had fighter jets and additional strike planes to destroy huge military columns, civilian lives would be saved, speaking at a virtual event organized by the nonpartisan, nonprofit group Renew Democracy Initiative.
“We will continue to fight. We are ready to negotiate but we are not going to accept any ultimatums and surrender”, Kuleba said, adding that Russia was putting forward demands that were “unacceptable”.
The Ukrainian foreign minister stated that Mariupol, in southern Ukraine, was besieged but remained under Ukrainian control.
Despite recent sanctions, the foreign minister emphasized that Ukraine needed more military supplies and that more moves were needed to damage Russia’s economy.
“If we had more planes we would have been able to save many more civilian lives mainly because the main striking force of Russia is in the air and they indiscriminately choose to attack. As we continue to fight we will need more and more weapons,” Kuleba added.
In response to questions about Belarus’ role, the Ukrainian foreign minister stated that despite Russian pressure, Belarus was unwilling to send troops into Ukraine.