Putin Offers ‘Immediate’ Cease-Fire in Ukraine — With Conditions

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Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged on Friday to “immediately” command a cease-fire in Ukraine and commence negotiations if Kyiv began retracting its troops from the four regions annexed by Moscow in 2022 and abandoned its aspirations to join NATO.

Such an agreement seems highly unlikely for Kyiv, which is determined to join the military alliance and has insisted on Russia withdrawing its forces from all Ukrainian territory. There was no immediate response from Ukraine regarding Putin’s offer.

“We will do it immediately,” Putin stated during a speech at the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow.

His comments were made as leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized nations gathered in Italy and as Switzerland prepared to host numerous world leaders — excluding Moscow — this weekend to discuss initial steps towards peace in Ukraine.

Putin described his proposal as a means to achieve a “final resolution” of the conflict in Ukraine rather than merely “freezing it,” emphasizing that the Kremlin is “ready to start negotiations without delay.”

The broader peace demands outlined by Putin included Ukraine’s non-nuclear status, limitations on its military capabilities, and the protection of the Russian-speaking population within Ukraine. He insisted these conditions should be incorporated into “fundamental international agreements,” and called for the removal of all Western 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 said.

Putin’s remarks marked a rare occasion where he explicitly detailed his terms for ending the war in Ukraine, though they did not introduce any new conditions. The Kremlin has previously asserted that Kyiv should acknowledge its territorial losses and forgo its NATO membership ambitions.

Despite Russia not fully controlling any of the four regions it illegally annexed in 2022, Putin reiterated on Friday that Kyiv should withdraw entirely and effectively cede these territories to Moscow within their administrative boundaries. In Zaporizhzhia, southeastern Ukraine, Russia still does not control the region’s namesake administrative capital of 700,000 people, and in the adjacent Kherson region, Moscow pulled back from Kherson’s largest city and namesake capital in November 2022.




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