News ID: 128351
Publish Date : 14 June 2024 - 22:20

Putin Names Conditions for Ukraine Peace Talks

MOSCOW (Dispatches) - Ukraine must remove its troops from Russia’s new regions before any meaningful peace talks can begin, President Vladimir Putin has said.
Moscow rejects Kyiv’s claims of sovereignty over five formerly Ukrainian regions, four of which have joined Russia amid the ongoing hostilities. People in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions voted for the transition in late 2022, though hostilities continue in all of them.
Ukrainian troops must be removed from these territories, Putin said on Friday at a meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other senior Russian diplomats.
“I stress: the entire territory of those regions as defined by their administrative borders at the time they joined Ukraine in August 1991,” Putin stated.
“Our side will order a ceasefire and start negotiations the minute Kyiv declares that it is prepared to take this decision and starts actual withdrawal of troops from those regions, and also formally informs us that it no longer plans to join NATO,” the Russian leader pledged.
Putin outlined the conditions after condemning Kyiv’s Western backers for allegedly preventing it from holding peace talks with Moscow while accusing Russia of rejecting negotiations.
“We are counting on Kyiv to take such a decision on withdrawal, neutral status, and dialogue with Russia, on which the future existence of Ukraine depends, independently based on the current realities and guided by the true interests of the Ukrainian people and not at Western orders,” Putin stated.
At this point, Moscow will not accept a frozen conflict, which would allow the U.S. and its allies to rearm and rebuild the Ukrainian military, Putin claimed. The full resolution of the issue will involve Kyiv recognizing the four new regions as well as Crimea as part of Russia, he insisted.
“In the future, all those basic principled positions have to be enshrined in fundamental international agreements. Naturally, that includes the lifting of all Western sanctions against Russia,” Putin stated.
Accepting these terms will allow everyone involved to turn the page and gradually rebuild damaged relations, the president said. Eventually, a pan-European security system that works for all nations on the continent could be created, Putin added, noting that Moscow has sought this outcome for years.
The Russian president’s keynote remarks came ahead of a Swiss-hosted summit supposedly meant to further peace in Ukraine. Kyiv has insisted that Moscow could not be invited to the event because it would try to “hijack” it by promoting alternatives to the “peace formula” pushed by the Ukrainian government.
Ukraine responded by calling Putin’s proposal “manipulative” and “absurd”. 
Ukraine’s foreign ministry called Putin’s plan “manipulative”, “absurd” and designed to “mislead the international community, undermine diplomatic efforts aimed at achieving a just peace, and split the unity of the world majority around the goals and principles of the UN Charter”.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg also slammed the conditions set out by Putin for initiating Ukraine peace talks.
“This is not a proposal made in good faith,” Stoltenberg told reporters.
“This is a proposal that actually means that Russia should achieve their war aims, by expecting that Ukrainians should give up significantly more land than Russia has been able to occupy so far,” he said.
“This is a proposal of more aggression, more occupation and, and it demonstrates, in a way, that Russia’s aim is to control Ukraine.”