Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is a liar, and can be negotiated only on the field of battle, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in an interview with French news outlet Le Journal du Dimanche on Sept. 10. Kuleba was commenting on French President Emmanuel Macron insisting on keeping an open communication channel with Putin.
The minister noted that it’s the prerogative of the French president to talk to whomever he wishes, but no substantive diplomatic negotiations can be had with Putin.
“You can keep calling Putin – it won’t make any difference,” said Kuleba.
“It’s pointless, as he’s a liar, and I think Emmanuel Macron knows this. I recall how much effort he has put into attempting to avert this war. That didn’t work. Nothing suggests Putin has changed his mind since.”
At the same time, the minister agreed with Macron’s thesis that Ukraine can negotiate a peace deal with Russia “at the right time.”
“Any war ends in diplomacy,” Kuleba said.
“It remains to be seen what will be the circumstances when that eventually happens. Will we be victorious, or defeated? That’s what matters. We want to negotiate from a position of strength. And that can only be decided on the battlefield.”
The most recent phone call between French and Russian leaders was on Aug. 19, focusing on the situation at Russia-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP).