Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the idea of a “just peace” was hard to imagine for Ukrainian parents who lost children in the Russian invasion of their country.
The White House said Zelensky and President Biden would discuss what a just peace could look like and how to end the war in Ukraine in their bilateral meeting earlier in the day.
“I don’t know what peace is simply. That is a very philosophical description. I don’t know whether there is a just war.” Zelensky said in the White House alongside Biden.
“For all of us, peace is simply different. For me as president, a just peace means no compromise on my country’s sovereignty, freedom, and territorial integrity. Repayment for all damage caused by Russian aggression,” he said.
Ukrainian president apologized for talking about children several times in the press conference and emphasized his point of view and stated that he is a father.
“Do you know how many parents lost their sons and daughters on the front lines? So what is simply peace for them? Money is nothing, and no compensation or reparations are irrelevant,” he said during the historic wartime press conference.
He added that there will be more tragedies among the Ukrainian people as long as the war continues.
“There will be more parents who live out of vengeance or vengeance, and I know a lot of people with that,” he said.
“There can be no just peace in the war imposed on us by them — I don’t know how to describe it because we’re in the White House and I can’t find the right language. So these inhumans, I would say,” he said, referring to the Russians.
Biden said at the press conference that Zelensky was open for peace and blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for the continued brutality in Ukraine.
“He is not open, but you are open to striving for peace,” Biden told Zelensky, referring to Putin. “You are open to striving for a just peace. We also know that Putin has no intention of… ending this cruel war.”
Biden promised during the press conference that the US will help Ukraine be successful on the battlefield against the Russians before any peace talks take place.
The president announced Wednesday that the US is providing an additional $2 billion in security and humanitarian aid, including a Patriot missile battery, an advanced air defense system intended to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia’s targeted attacks on the country’s energy and electricity infrastructure.
Zelensky and his senior officials have warned in recent days that Russia is preparing to renew its invasion of Ukraine with a massive ground offensive involving an estimated 200,000 troops in the coming months.
Biden said Wednesday that Putin is “escalating his attacks on civilians” and is trying to “use winter as a weapon.”