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Putin Offers To Maintain Ceasefire In Ukraine Should Kyiv Remove Troops And Abandon NATO Bid

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Putin Offers To Maintain Ceasefire In Ukraine Should Kyiv Remove Troops And Abandon NATO Bid

In the event that Kyiv starts to remove soldiers from the four occupied Ukrainian regions and abandons intentions to join NATO, Russian President Vladimir Putin has pledged to “immediately” order a truce in the country and start negotiations.

Kyiv, which seeks to join the military alliance and has insisted that Russia remove its soldiers from all of its territory, seems unlikely to approve of such a deal. Mr. Putin declared during an address at the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow, “We will do it immediately.” His statements coincided with the G7 summit in Italy and Switzerland’s preparations to welcome a large number of international leaders this weekend to outline initial moves toward peace in Ukraine.

In contrast to “freezing” the crisis in Ukraine, Mr. Putin stated that his approach aims for a “final resolution” and emphasized that the Kremlin is “ready to start negotiations without delay.”

The Russian leader enumerated other general requests for peace, such as Ukraine’s non-nuclear status, limitations on its use of force, and defense of the rights of the nation’s Russian-speaking populace. “We are calling for the turning of this sad page in history and the gradual restoration of unity not only between Russia and Ukraine but also throughout Europe,” stated Mr. Putin.

Although Mr. Putin did not make any fresh demands, his speech did mark a rare occasion on which he explicitly outlined his demands for bringing an end to the conflict in Ukraine.

Kyiv should acknowledge its territorial gains and renounce its quest to join NATO, the Kremlin has previously stated. Though neither of the four illegally acquired districts of 2022 is totally under Russian authority, President Putin stated on Friday that Kyiv should leave the areas completely and effectively hand them over to Moscow inside their administrative borders.

In the southeast, Russia continues to have no authority over the 700,000-person administrative center of Zaporizhzhia; in the neighboring province of Kherson, Moscow withdrew from the capital and largest city of Kherson in November 2022.

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