Russia’s Arrest Warrants For Ukrainian Leaders Likely To Dampen Peace Summit Expectations

The Russian Interior Ministry’s issuance of arrest warrants for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and several high-ranking former officials is expected to further complicate the prospects of a planned peace summit in Switzerland next month.

The ministry’s wanted list updated on Tuesday includes Zelensky who is wanted over an unspecified violation of the Russian Criminal Code and former President Petro Poroshenko who came to power following the Western-backed 2014 Euromaidan protests.

Russian state-run media RT suggested the arrest warrant may be in response to unconventional tactics used by Ukraine with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying last month that threats made by Zelensky to destroy Russian infrastructure demonstrated the “terrorist” nature of Kyiv.

The announcements come after multiple other former Ukrainian officials face arrest warrants issued on Friday including former Finance Minister Aleksandr Shlapak former central bank chief Stepan Kubiv and the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council Aleksandr Litvinenko.

Neither side appears willing to budge in the conflict with Russia flatly rejecting Ukraine’s demands to cede back the territory it occupies before negotiations even begin and Ukraine arguing that freezing the lines of the conflict under a ceasefire agreement would only allow Russia to regroup and prepare for another incursion into the country at a later date.

Despite the increasingly gloomy prospects for Ukraine Western powers led by the Biden administration appear intent on doubling down on their support for Zelensky securing a further $60 billion in aid for Ukraine last month.