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President Lukashenko of Belarus Calls for Diplomacy as Ukraine-Russia Conflict Reaches Stalemate

October 29, 2023 (Reuters) — In a sober assessment of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, a steadfast ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, declared a stalemate on the frontlines of the war. Lukashenko urged both nations to engage in diplomatic talks to bring an end to the protracted and deadly confrontation.

Speaking over the weekend, Lukashenko highlighted the gravity of the situation, emphasizing the entrenched nature of the conflict. "They're there head-to-head, to the death, entrenched. People are dying," he stated. Despite the recent push by Russian forces near the devastated Donetsk city of Avdiivka, the overall frontline in Ukraine has seen minimal movement in the past year, according to the U.S. White House, even amidst Kyiv's enduring and exhaustive offensive.

Lukashenko, whose country served as a launch pad for Putin's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, stressed the urgency of resolving Ukraine's demand for Russia to withdraw from its territory through diplomatic means. "We need to sit down at the negotiating table and come to an agreement," Lukashenko asserted in a video Q&A posted on the website of the Belarusian state news agency BelTA. He underscored that the focus should be on reaching an accord without preconditions, emphasizing the importance of issuing a collective 'stop' command to halt the devastating hostilities.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy reaffirmed his commitment to a 10-point peace plan during a gathering of over 60 national security advisers. Zelenskiy emphasized that the plan, which includes calls for the restoration of Ukraine's territorial integrity, remains the sole viable pathway to conclude the conflict.

As the conflict persists with its grim toll on human lives, Lukashenko's call for negotiations stands as a poignant plea for a peaceful resolution, echoing the sentiment that the time has come for both sides to put aside their differences and find common ground at the diplomatic table.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

In conclusion, President Alexander Lukashenko's acknowledgment of the stalemate in the Russia-Ukraine conflict and his impassioned call for diplomatic negotiations underscore the pressing need for a peaceful resolution. Lukashenko's recognition of the entrenched and deadly nature of the confrontation, coupled with his urging for both sides to engage in dialogue, highlights the urgency of finding common ground to halt the devastating hostilities.

The ongoing toll on human lives and the minimal movement on the frontline emphasize the gravity of the situation, making the plea for negotiations all the more poignant. Lukashenko's insistence on resolving Ukraine's demands at the negotiating table without preconditions aligns with a broader call for a collective 'stop' command to bring an end to the protracted war.

As Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy reiterates the importance of his peace plan, it becomes evident that diplomatic efforts are crucial for a lasting solution. In the face of such a complex and entrenched conflict, the international community awaits a concerted commitment to dialogue and a genuine effort to bring about a cessation of hostilities. The path to peace, as underscored by Lukashenko, lies in the shared recognition that, ultimately, negotiations are the most viable means to end the suffering and forge a path towards stability in the region.