For the first time, the Ukrainian President's Office has announced the conditions under which Ukraine might be prepared to begin negotiations with Russia regarding the occupied Crimea. Oleg Sybiga, deputy head of the Office,  said in a comment to the Financial Times that this will happen once Ukrainian troops are positioned on the border with the peninsula.

"If we succeed in achieving our strategic goals on the battlefield and once we reach the administrative border with Crimea, we are ready to open [the] diplomatic page to discuss this issue," he said, while discussing Ukraine's future counteroffensive.

Sybiga clarified his comments by saying: "That doesn't mean that we exclude achieving the liberation [of Crimea] by our army."

This is the first statement by the Ukrainian authorities, even suggesting the possibility of any negotiations, since last April, when Kyiv ceased all negotiations with Russia after the full-scale invasion on Feb.24, 2022.


The Financial Times notes that Sybiha’s remarks may come as some relief to western officials who are skeptical about Ukraine’s ability to reclaim the peninsula militarily and worry that any attempt to do so, could lead President Vladimir Putin to escalate his war, possibly with the use of nuclear weapons.

To date President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian spokesmen have ruled out the chance for peace talks until Russian forces have left all of Ukraine, including Crimea.

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Comments (3)
Jacques Willemen
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this statement is not new
Ukraine earlier stated that Crimea is negotiable as leaving the isseu to speak about it in about 15 years
the only different is that they put on some more pressure
M Hoffman
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I am a real person, residing in the US. Ukrainians are apparently some of the stupidest human beings that have ever existed, acting as suicidal proxies for the corrupt US which seeks to maintain its hegemony status as authoritarian dictators to the world. Crimes? Can you imagine the remainder of able bodied Ukrainians actually entering Crimea which has been part of Russia for years and is occupied now entirely by people who are allied with Russia. Ukrainians do not comprehend that their entire country has been sold to oligarchs and foreigners, including their farmland which is owned primarily by 25 entities. Ukraine has NO country. It has a dream, a fantasy, beliefs, but nothing real. Sad, but true. Maybe they should all just shoot each other and get it over with.

Jacques Willemen
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@M Hoffman, you are a real person from usa on the payroll of putin as an putinidiot and talking in the same words as rasshist, using the words "stupid" and denouncing the right of existence to Ukraine.
these socalled allied russia/rasshist people fled with the first attacks on Crimea by Ukraine, higher army personel already are selling their homes, when the Kertsj bridge was hit these socalled russia/rasshist allies fled again
corruption is far more higher and intenser in rasshist army then in the whole history of the USA, hence the failed 3-day-war from vladolf putler, the satanic fascist neonazi with favorite wagner piazboy from leningrad as hitler had his favorite wagner
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Wars are won due to sustainably better cost and production rates of arms and ammunition. Ukraine needs to demonstrate that they will win this battle, while being less and less dependant on production support from others which is too expensive.
Winning the production war will determine the outcome of negotiations. Currently Putin clearly believes Russia has relevant advantages over the long term, and this belief must be reversed by facts on the ground, particularly lower cost mass production in, or contracted to Ukraine.

Jacques Willemen
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@David, you forget david and golliath
it was rasshist who attacked for no reason and is fighting a war against USA, NATO and Europe over the backs of the Ukrainian People
the bully attacking the smaller like bully china once attacked Tibet by which china violated the territorial integrity of Tibet
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@David, I see it the other way round: The west needs to help Ukraine win the war and expel the Russian army from their territory as quickly as possible so that Ukraine can start rebuilding and focus on its manufacturing and production base. Extending the war by not supplying the necessary weapons and ammunition is what is too expensive, both for Ukraine and the rest of the world. There is historical precedent for this: The Soviet Union would have been overrun by the German army and millions more would have died of hunger were it not for the gigantic lend-lease program from the west that supplied them with the necessary military and humanitarian supplies to survive and fight the Nazi army. Russia is not fighting a war against Ukraine. Russia is fighting a war against the west with Ukraine being the current stage in that war. It only makes sense for the west to use its industrial base and existing military supplies to help Ukraine win. Also, although military manufacturing rates are important, morale and determination play an equally important part in military success. Ukrainian soldiers know what they are fighting for: Survival. Many if not most Russian soldiers have no idea why they are in Ukraine. There is no good moral imperative or justification for what the Kremlin regime is doing. That does not make for good military motivation and determination.