Ukraine Rejects Putin’s Truce Offer to Abandon NATO Bid and Russian-Claimed Territories

Ukraine Rejects Putin's Truce Offer to Abandon NATO Bid and Russian-Claimed Territories

If Kiev started pulling out its soldiers from the four areas that Moscow had annexed in 2022 and gave up on its aspirations to join NATO, Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged on Friday to “immediately” arrange a cease-fire in the country and begin negotiations.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, rejected what he perceived as Putin’s ultimatum to cede additional territory.

Putin made his comments as Switzerland got ready to welcome a large number of foreign leaders this weekend, excluding those from Moscow, to discuss how to lay out the groundwork for peace in Ukraine.

They also fell on the heels of this week’s signing of a 10-year security agreement between the United States and Ukraine, which Russian authorities, including Putin, criticized as “null and void,” and a summit of the leaders of the Group of Seven major industrialized nations in Italy.

“Just another ploy to divert everyone’s attention, reverse the cause and effect of the Ukrainian crisis (and) set the discussion on the wrong track,” was how Putin described the Switzerland summit.

He made these requests during a speech at the Russian Foreign Ministry, emphasizing that the Kremlin is “ready to start negotiations without delay” and that the problem should be resolved “finally” as opposed to “freezing it.”

Putin enumerated broader objectives for peace, such as Ukraine’s acknowledgment of Crimea as a part of Russia, maintaining the nation’s non-nuclear status, limiting its use of force, and defending the rights of the Russian-speaking populace.

Putin stated that all of these had to be included in “fundamental international agreements” and that the West should remove all sanctions against Russia.

“We’re urging to turn this tragic page of history and to begin restoring, step-by-step, the unity between Russia and Ukraine and in Europe in general,” he stated.

Speaking to a group of solemn Foreign Ministry officials and senior MPs, Putin’s statements constituted a unique opportunity for him to explicitly outline his demands for bringing an end to the conflict in Ukraine, but they lacked any new ones. The Kremlin has already declared that Kyiv ought to give up on its attempt to join NATO and acknowledge its territorial achievements.

At the G7 conference in Italy, Zelenskyy asserted that Putin’s proposal was nothing new and that it was a “ultimatum,” drawing parallels between it and Adolf Hitler’s activities in annexing land that precipitated the Second World War.

“What Putin demands is to give them a part of our territories, those occupied and not occupied, talking about several regions of our country,” he stated.

According to the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine, Putin’s plan is “absurd,” “manipulative,” and intended to “split the unity of the world majority around the goals and principles of the U.N. Charter, undermine diplomatic efforts aimed at achieving a just peace,” among other things.

In addition to wanting to join NATO, Ukraine also wants Russian soldiers to leave its land, including the unlawfully acquired Crimean Peninsula; its territorial integrity to be restored; Moscow to be held responsible for war crimes; and Kyiv to receive compensation.

Read Also: Italian Premier Meloni Describes Putin’s Cease-fire Offer for Ukraine as ‘propaganda’

Putin stressed that Kyiv should effectively relinquish all four of the annexated territories to Moscow inside their administrative borders. With a pre-war population of roughly 700,000, southeast Russia still lacks sovereignty over the administrative seat of Zaporizhzhia; in the nearby province of Kherson, Moscow withdrew from its largest city and capital of the same name in November 2022.

According to Putin, “it is their business, their political and moral responsibility for continuing the bloodshed” if “Kyiv and Western capitals” reject his offer.

Putin went one step farther on Friday, saying that although his forces had neared Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, they had never intended to overrun the city.


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