Putin lists preconditions for negotiations with Kyiv on eve of Swiss peace summit



Vladimir Putin announced a series of preconditions for peace talks with Ukraine during a briefing with senior Russian Foreign Ministry officials on Friday, Russian media outlet RBC reported.

Putin spelled out his numerous prerequisites for a peace plan, including the withdrawal of all Ukrainian troops from the entirety of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions, despite the fact that Russian forces do not fully control any of the territories at present.

Stipulating that Ukraine also agree to be neutral, non-aligned, non-nuclear, demilitarised and “denazified”, Putin also demanded a written guarantee that the West would lift its sanctions on Russia as well as assurances that the rights of Russian speakers in Ukraine would be protected.

“Today we are making another concrete, real peace proposal. If Kyiv and the Western capitals refuse it, then it is their political and moral responsibility for prolonging this bloodshed,” Putin said.

Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, responded to Putin’s comments by calling his proposals “a complete sham” and “offensive to common sense”. Describing his preconditions as “highly offensive to international law” and indicative of the Kremlin’s inability “to adequately assess realities”.

Peace talks between the two sides began in the immediate aftermath of the Russian invasion in February 2022, but the proposed peace deal that came out of it was subsequently rejected by Putin. Since then, Kyiv has refused to negotiate with Russia.

Putin’s proposal comes on the eve of a global peace summit in Switzerland, to which Russia was not invited. Ninety states and organisations have confirmed their attendance, with discussion of Zelensky’s peace plan and issues of nuclear security topping the agenda.

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