Cease-fire negotiations with Russia are off the table as long as Moscow refuses to return territory it has occupied in Ukraine, the country's national security secretary said in a recent interview.

Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, in the exclusive interview with Kyodo News, also indicated the country's intention of continuing its counteroffensive on military infrastructure in Russia, adding that Moscow has become "subordinate to China" in its attempts to draw closer to Beijing for diplomatic and economic support.

Russia has continued to fight fiercely to maintain control of the Crimean Peninsula, which it unilaterally annexed in 2014, as well as four states in eastern and southern Ukraine.

Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, speaks to Kyodo News in Kyiv on Oct. 19, 2023. (Kyodo)

Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, the most important organization directly under President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, includes military commanders in addition to defense and foreign ministers. Its secretary's unyielding resolve to regain all Russian-occupied territory means the war will likely be protracted.

"There are no negotiations worth having as long as Russia continues to occupy (Ukrainian) territory, including Crimea," said Danilov.

Calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a "terrorist," Danilov added that a "modern Hitler by the name of Putin killed 500 of our children."

Danilov said he is convinced the "situation will fundamentally change" once F-16 fighter jets arrive from the West to strengthen Ukrainian air defenses but admitted it was difficult to predict the time needed to regain all the country's territory.

While noting that Ukraine has entered an informal agreement not to use weapons supplied by the West in attacks on the Russian mainland, Danilov warned that facilities around Moscow could become targets for domestically produced arms.

He dispelled concerns that international attention and support would wane amid the escalating situation between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas in the Middle East, saying, "There has been no decrease in communication with the United States and Europe. Cooperation continues, and we get help every day."

Regarding strengthening ties between Russia and China, Danilov said that Moscow has "lost its independence and now has to rely on countries like China, North Korea and Iran" but brushed off the likelihood of a cease-fire brokered by Beijing.

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