Putin’s peace circumstances are Hitler-like, Zelensky says | EUROtoday

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Russian President Vladimir Putin promised Friday to “immediately” order a ceasefire in Ukraine and start negotiations if Kyiv began withdrawing troops from the 4 areas annexed by Moscow in 2022 and renounced plans to affix NATO. Ukraine responded by calling Putin’s proposal “manipulative” and “absurd”.

Putin’s remarks got here as Switzerland ready to host scores of world leaders – however not from Moscow – this weekend to attempt to map out first steps towards peace in Ukraine.

They additionally coincided with a gathering of leaders of the Group of Seven main industrialised nations in Italy and after the US and Ukraine this week additionally signed a 10-year safety settlement that Russian officers, together with Putin, denounced as “null and void”.

Putin blasted the Switzerland convention as “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”.

His proposal got here in a speech on the Russian international ministry and was geared toward what he known as a “final resolution” of the battle fairly than “freezing it”, and pressured the Kremlin is “ready to start negotiations without delay”.

Broader calls for for peace that Putin listed included Ukraine’s recognition of Crimea as a part of Russia, protecting the nation’s non-nuclear standing, limiting its army pressure and defending the pursuits of the Russian-speaking inhabitants. All of those ought to grow to be a part of “fundamental international agreements”, and all Western sanctions towards Russia must be lifted, Putin mentioned.

“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 mentioned.

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Putin’s remarks, made to a bunch of somber international ministry officers, represented a uncommon event wherein he clearly laid out his circumstances for ending the struggle in Ukraine, however it didn’t embody any new calls for. The Kremlin has mentioned earlier than that Kyiv ought to acknowledge its territorial beneficial properties and drop its bid to affix NATO.

But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky mentioned he believed Putin wouldn’t cease his army offensive even when his ceasefire calls for have been met.

“These are ultimatum messages that are no different from messages from the past,” he mentioned to Italy’s SkyTG24 information channel on the sidelines of a G7 summit.

“He will not stop,” he mentioned, evaluating Putin’s peace circumstances to ultimatums given by German dictator Adolf Hitler within the lead-up to World War II.

“It is the same thing that Hitler used to do … This is why we should not trust these messages,” Zelensky added.

Ukraine’s international ministry known as 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 additionally slammed the circumstances set out by Putin for initiating Ukraine peace talks.

“This is not a proposal made in good faith,” Stoltenberg informed 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 mentioned.

“This is a proposal of more aggression, more occupation and, and it demonstrates, in a way, that Russia’s aim is to control Ukraine.”

Besides wanting to affix NATO, Ukraine calls for that Russia withdraw its troops from all of its territory, together with the Crimean Peninsula that was illegally annexed in 2014, restoring its territorial integrity, holding Russia accountable for struggle crimes and paying reparations to Kyiv.

Russia launched its a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. After Ukrainian forces thwarted a Russian drive to the capital, a lot of the combating has targeted within the south and east – and Russia illegally annexed areas within the east and the south, though it doesn’t absolutely management any of them.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, mentioned on social media that there was nothing new in Putin’s proposal and that the Russian chief “voiced only the ‘standard aggressor’s set,’ which has been heard many times already”.

“There is no novelty in this, no real peace proposals and no desire to end the war. But there is a desire not to pay for this war and to continue it in new formats. It’s all a complete sham,” Podolyak wrote on X.


US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin mentioned at NATO headquarters in Brussels that Putin “has illegally occupied sovereign Ukrainian territory. He is not in any position to dictate to Ukraine what they must do to bring about a peace”.

Austin added that Putin “began this struggle with no provocation. He may finish it at the moment if he selected to try this”.

Putin insisted Friday that Kyiv ought to withdraw from all 4 annexed areas solely and primarily cede them to Moscow inside their administrative borders. In Zaporizhzhia within the southeast, Russia nonetheless does not management the area’s namesake administrative capital with a pre-war inhabitants of about 700,000, and within the neighboring Kherson area, Moscow withdrew from Kherson’s greatest metropolis and capital of the identical identify in November 2022.

Putin mentioned that if “Kyiv and Western capitals” reject his provide, “it is their business, their political and moral responsibility for continuing the bloodshed”.

Throughout the struggle, the Kremlin has repeatedly aired its readiness for peace talks with Kyiv and blamed the West for undermining its efforts to finish the battle.

Putin went additional Friday and claimed that his troops by no means supposed to storm Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, though they approached town.

“In essence, it was nothing other than an operation to force the Ukrainian regime to peace. The troops were there to push the Ukrainian side to negotiate, to try and find an acceptable solution,” he mentioned.

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Moscow withdrew from Kyiv in March 2022 and described it as a goodwill gesture as peace talks between the 2 started, however the pullback happened amid fierce Ukrainian resistance that considerably slowed down Russia’s battlefield advances.

Putin additionally claimed that in that very same month, he informed one international official he wasn’t ruling out withdrawing forces from the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia areas and ceding occupied components of them again to Ukraine, so long as Kyiv allowed Russia to have a “strong land connection” to Crimea.

He mentioned the official deliberate on bringing that proposal to Kyiv – which Moscow “welcomed” because it typically welcomed “attempts to find a peaceful resolution of the conflict”. But the Kremlin then annexed each areas, together with the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces, citing the outcomes of sham “referendums” it staged there. Putin talked about these and mentioned that “the matter is closed forever and is no longer up for discussion”.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP and Reuters)


https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20240614-ukraine-rejects-putin-absurd-peace-conditions-russia-war