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Editorial: World community must not forsake diplomatic efforts to stop war in Ukraine

As Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, combat is engulfing a key strategic point in eastern Ukraine.

    While Russian forces are stepping up their offensive against Ukrainian troops to take complete control of the eastern region, the latter is putting up stiff resistance in the area's industrial belt. Damage from the exchange of fire is only intensifying.

    It has been 3 1/2 months since Russia commenced its military aggression in Ukraine. The death toll on both sides is swelling by the day and civilians are also falling victim to the warfare. Women and children who have evacuated to underground shelters are facing threats to their lives.

    Yet a path to a cease-fire between the two countries is nowhere in sight. The question of how to seek a way out of the quagmire can only be answered through continued diplomatic efforts.

    Italy has put forth a cease-fire proposal calling for demilitarization of the front lines under the supervision of the United Nations and urging talks to ensure safety for Ukraine. France has also repeatedly offered to act as an intermediary between Russia and Ukraine. These moves can be considered positive developments.

    Meanwhile, some observers argue that it is wrong to press Ukraine to make concessions to Russia over territorial issues in the rush to advance peace talks. Their line of thinking is that Russia, the aggressor, should not be rewarded for its atrocities.

    The United States is taking this position and announced that it will provide Ukraine with long-range rocket systems. Washington says it is aiming to back up "Ukraine's victory" with weapons capable of destroying Russia's chain of command in the front lines and cutting off its logistics. The strategy is said to be aimed at debilitating Russian forces to give advantage to Ukraine when negotiating a potential cease-fire.

    What is concerning is that Russia may become increasingly wary of Ukraine's arms buildup and could shift the brunt of its attack to the U.S. and European countries. The possibility of the situation escalating into a war involving the whole of Europe cannot be ruled out.

    Because tensions are rising, parties involved are urged all the more to stay level-headed.

    According to the Ukrainian government, Russia has lost some 30,000 troops to the war. On the other hand, the lives of over 4,000 civilians were lost in Ukraine, topping the death toll of its own soldiers.

    The war's repercussions are taking a toll across the globe, including growing food shortages and soaring energy prices. Many developing countries in Asia, Africa and other regions are facing a predicament. The longer the war in Ukraine is prolonged, the greater humanitarian damage it would inflict, dealing a further blow to the international economy.

    First and foremost, a cease-fire must be achieved, followed by negotiations on a peace initiative. It may not be an easy process, but the international community must not give up on diplomatic efforts to find common ground between Russia and Ukraine.

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