Putin Offers Peace Plan to Ukraine in New Remarks

[Photo Credit: By kremlin.ru - kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=148391487]

On Friday, President Vladimir V. Putin reportedly declared that Russia would be prepared to initiate negotiations with Ukraine’s government and order a cease-fire in the country if Kyiv withdrew its forces from the four regions that Moscow has claimed as its own and renounced its ambitions to join NATO.

Mr. Putin’s most recent declaration mandates that Ukraine relinquish substantial portions of its former territory to Moscow, including the capitals of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.

They are the most concrete set of territorial conditions that Mr. Putin has proposed to date in order to halt the conflict.

Mr. Putin has previously stated that negotiations should consider “the realities of today,” a stance that some analysts interpreted as an offer of a cease-fire at the present military frontlines.

Kyiv has declared that Russia is required to withdraw its forces from all of Ukraine’s internationally recognized territory.

The remarks were made by Mr. Putin one day prior to a peace conference in Zurich that Ukraine has organized in order to persuade countries to participate in its plans for the conflict and eventual peace.

Mr. Putin’s announcement appeared to be a preemptive measure, as Russia was not extended an invitation to the summit.

According to Ukraine’s foreign ministry, Mr. Putin’s timing indicated that he was attempting to undermine Ukraine’s diplomatic initiative in Switzerland, which commences on Saturday, and that he is “afraid of a genuine peace.”

Mr. Putin characterized Russia’s demands as “extremely straightforward” during a meeting with his most senior diplomats in Moscow.

In September 2022, he stated that Ukraine must withdraw its military from the entire Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia regions, which he officially claimed as part of Russia.

He also stated that Ukraine must abandon its plans to join NATO and that the West must remove all sanctions imposed on Russia.

He reiterated that Russia would immediately issue an order to cease fire and begin negotiations under those circumstances.

Mr. Putin also stated that Russia’s offer did not pertain to “freezing the conflict,” but rather to its ultimate “resolution.”

It’s remains unclear whether the government of Ukraine, and it’s Western backers will be willing to accept such peace terms.

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