Russia won’t just ‘grasp’ any proposal on Ukraine – Moscow
Those who think Russia “will grasp any Western proposal” for a peace settlement do not understand anything about the current situation in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday, commenting on reports of an Italian plan to end the fighting.
The existence of the proposal was revealed by the newspaper La Repubblica last week, regarding Moscow’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine. The four-step roadmap to peace reportedly includes a ceasefire, the demilitarization of the frontline in Ukraine, a diplomatic settlement of the status of Crimea and the Donbass republics, and an overarching agreement on security in Europe.
During a press briefing, Zakharova said, “it is impossible to believe,” but Moscow has so far not received any proposals from Rome.
Therefore, she could only discuss the media reports about the supposed plan.
Looking at these reports, she added, the proposals seem “so divorced from reality that it is difficult to take them seriously.”
“It is a curious idea that Moscow could be interested in peace initiatives that prioritize the logic of further tightening sanctions against the Russian Federation and continuing military support for the Kiev regime.”
Describing the reported proposals as an example of “armchair theorizing,” she said, “it is impossible to supply neo-Nazis in Ukraine with weapons with one hand, and come up with plans to save the situation with the other hand.”
The alleged Italian proposals, Zakharova claimed, show a lack of understanding of the “real events in Ukraine.”
“But, perhaps, they assume that the Russian side will grab any Western proposal, no matter how absurd it may be. But in this case, they basically do not understand anything at all about the current situation,” she added.
However, she noted that the appearance of proposals such as this could show that Rome is perhaps “beginning to think about the depressing consequences of the military psychosis that was caused by the reaction of the West to the special military operation of Russia in Ukraine” – and the supposed plan could be an attempt “to offer some alternatives to the current escalation, which threatens to develop into a full-scale military conflict between Russia and NATO.”
Zakharova said Russia will officially respond to Italy’s proposals if they are sent to Moscow, “after many days of pure PR in the media space.”
Her remarks came one day after the deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, said that “any peace proposal built purely in the interest of NATO and the Western world order should simply be ignored.”
“Or rather, their authors should be told to go in a certain direction,” Medvedev said.
According to La Repubblica, the Italian government shared its proposals with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and leading Western powers.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry earlier confirmed that Italy had shared “its vision” with Kiev and that the government was studying it. However, Ukraine reiterated that it would not agree to any settlement that does not respect its pre-2014 borders, casting doubt on the plan’s viability.
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.
The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc.
Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.