Ukraine Must Cede Territory to Russia for Peace Deal, Slovakian Prime Minister Fico Declares


Ukraine must be willing to cede some of its territory to Russia for a peace deal, Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico said on Saturday.

Ahead of a scheduled meeting between recently installed Prime Minister Robert Fico and his Ukrainian counterpart Denys Shmyhal on Wednesday, the left-wing populist Slovak leader ruffled feathers in Kyiv by suggesting that any peace solution will likely require some territorial concessions to Russia.

“There has to be some kind of compromise, which will be very painful for both sides. And what are they waiting for? That the Russians will leave Crimea, Donbas and Luhansk? It’s unrealistic,” Fico said according to the Slovak news outlet Aktuality.

This comes in direct opposition to President Zelensky’s demands that Russia withdraws from all occupied territory before negotiations even start, making the restoration of Ukraine’s 1991 borders, which not only include the occupied areas in the Donbas, but also the Crimean peninsula, which Moscow has controlled since it annexed the territory in 2014.

Russia, meanwhile, claims that the territories in question have been “liberated” given that they are home to large populations of ethnic Russians, whom the Kremlin claims have faced discrimination from the Ukrainian government in Kyiv.