Moscow’s Arrest Warrants For Ukrainian Leaders Likely To Complicate Peace Efforts As Conflict Continues

The prospects of a planned peace summit in Switzerland next month have been further complicated by the Russian Interior Ministry’s issuance of arrest warrants for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and several high-ranking former officials including former President Petro Poroshenko.

The ministry’s updated wanted list released on Tuesday includes Zelensky who is wanted over an unspecified violation of the Russian Criminal Code and Poroshenko who came to power following the Western-backed 2014 Euromaidan protests described by Moscow as a coup against Viktor Yanukovych.

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 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 face arrest warrants issued on Friday.

Neither side appears willing to budge in the ongoing conflict with Russia flatly rejecting Ukraine’s demands to cede back occupied territory before negotiations begin and Ukraine arguing that freezing the conflict lines under a ceasefire agreement would only allow Russia to regroup and prepare for another future incursion.

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.