Putin to Stop the War in Ukraine Under These Conditions

World » UKRAINE | June 14, 2024, Friday // 14:17
Bulgaria: Putin to Stop the War in Ukraine Under These Conditions

Russia will cease fire and begin negotiations if Ukraine withdraws from the four occupied Ukrainian regions claimed by Russia and abandons its aspirations for NATO membership, stated President Vladimir Putin in a speech at the Foreign Ministry in Moscow. This proposal, he emphasized, is not for a temporary truce but for a complete end to the conflict in Ukraine.

Putin clarified that this demand is not about the current front-line situation but involves Ukraine relinquishing Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions, which have been incorporated into the Russian constitution despite not being fully under Russian control. Currently, these regions are not entirely occupied by Russia.

If Ukraine and the West reject this latest peace proposal, Putin warned that the battlefield conditions would worsen for Kyiv, and future proposals would come with different terms. "As soon as Kyiv declares readiness for such a decision, begins a real withdrawal of troops from these regions, and officially notifies us of its refusal to join NATO, Russia will immediately order a ceasefire and start negotiations," he said.

Russia would guarantee the safe withdrawal of Ukrainian forces. Putin also reiterated familiar Kremlin positions: a neutral Ukraine without nuclear weapons and outside collective defense organizations, along with the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine.

Putin did not specify who he envisions negotiating with, particularly after expressing skepticism about Western trustworthiness during recent talks in China. He emphasized that any talks should also consider global stability and reliable security guarantees for all parties involved.

On Friday, Vladimir Putin stated that the initial aim of the aggression against Ukraine was not to capture Kyiv but to "induce" the Ukrainians to sign a peace treaty. He emphasized that there was never any intention to storm the city of 3 million residents, although he did not explain why forces were not kept there afterward.

In a speech at the Foreign Ministry, Putin mentioned that before the war, he had proposed to Kyiv to withdraw its troops from the Donbas region, promising that this would resolve the conflict. However, he said that this proposal was almost immediately rejected.

Putin further added that after Russia occupied parts of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, several countries offered to mediate. Russia did not dismiss the possibility of Ukrainian sovereignty over these regions if Kyiv guaranteed a land corridor to Crimea, which Russia had annexed in 2014.

A day before a peace conference in Switzerland involving numerous countries, Putin asserted that the "Euro-Atlantic security system is collapsing and must be created anew." He claimed that the world had reached a point of no return and emphasized that Western nations need to find a way to cooperate with Russia.

His comments on a new Eurasian security structure echoed his late 2021 attempts to revert Europe to its 1997 state. At that time, Russia proposed an agreement with the US and Western countries on security guarantees based on "indivisible and equal security." This included not affecting others' security, avoiding the use of other countries' territories for preparing or executing attacks against Russia or the US, halting NATO's eastward expansion, reverting NATO's defense infrastructure to its pre-1997 locations, and refusing to accept former USSR members into NATO.

Putin called for a broad discussion on a new system of bilateral and multilateral security guarantees in Eurasia. He suggested that this system should be open to all Eurasian countries, including European NATO nations, and should initiate dialogue with potential participants. He proposed gradually reducing the military presence of "foreign countries" in the Eurasian region.

According to Putin, if Europe aims to remain an independent center of development, it must maintain good relations with Russia, and he expressed readiness for this cooperation. He invoked the legacies of Charles de Gaulle and Helmut Kohl, hoping that future European politicians would embrace this perspective. He also suggested involving countries and organizations outside the region, like China, India, and Iran, in Euro-Atlantic security discussions.

To advance this idea, Putin stressed the need to enhance dialogue among existing multilateral organizations in Eurasia. These include the Union State (Russia and Belarus), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Eurasian Economic Union, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and others. Moscow also supported Minsk's idea of a "charter for multipolarity and diversity in the 21st century," advocating a new international relations system to replace the Western-centric world.

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Tags: Putin, Ukraine, Russia, NATO

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