Argentina’s government has rejected limited criticism voiced Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy towards Argentina, declaring that President Alberto Fernández has "condemned the Russian invasion every time he should have."
The remarks, delivered by Presidential Spokesperson Gabriela Cerruti at her weekly press conference on Thursday, came after the Eastern European leader delivered a speech via teleconference to the University of Buenos Aires (UBA).
"We need closer relations between our two countries. I do not see the relations between Argentina and Ukraine being so close. I would like there to be more communication between our governments and peoples," said Zelenskyy during a virtual chat with students.
In that context, the Ukrainian president highlighted the importance of Latin American countries, in particular Argentina, joining the "formula of peace" driven by Kyiv to end the war.
Buenos Aires has been criticised by some on the international stage for its close ties to the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin.
At a Casa Rosada press conference on Thursday, Cerruti clashed with these proposals: "The president has condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine every time he should have with his stance of seeking peace and ending the war on every international forum, including the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States [CELAC, in its Spanish acronym] and Mercosur. That is the stance of Argentina, which has been strongly represented at every international forum."
Ukraine wants Argentina to support its so-called "peace formula" that Kyiv believes could end the war begun by Russia over a year ago. The offer to adhere to the proposal was formalised in mid-January during a virtual meeting between the deputy Foreign ministers of both countries: Pablo Tettamanti for Argentina and Andriy Melnik for Ukraine.
The Ukrainian leader’s dialogue with students came a few days after Zelenskyy denounced that Latin American presidents had vetoed the proposal of Spanish premier Pedro Sánchez to include him in the upcoming CELAC-European Union summit taking place in less than 10 days time.
Via Zoom Zelenskyy told the students: "For us this is a war for freedom and that is what we are fighting for because we will never yield. We never wanted this war nor did we seek it, which is why we need your help to defend the freedom of Ukraine and human rights.”
“I cannot describe the horror we are experiencing. We need to defend ourselves in order not to lose everything and Ukraine will never kneel. Russia could have ended the war long ago and did not. We ask them to abandon Ukraine urgently. [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is bloodstained because it was he who sent the troops,” he continued.
In conclusion he said: “There must be justice with Ukraine restored, the murderers going to prison and Putin condemned as a repressor,” before thanking the students and UBA.