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17 May, 2024 12:11

Putin responds to Kiev’s ‘peace formula’ ultimatum

Russia won’t be pressured diplomatically, just as it cannot be defeated on the battlefield, the president has said
Putin responds to Kiev’s ‘peace formula’ ultimatum

Russia will not yield to ultimatums from Ukraine and its Western backers as they try to gain diplomatically what they have failed to gain militarily, President Vladimir Putin has said.

In mid-June, Switzerland will host an international conference to discuss Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s so-called “peace formula.” Russia was excluded from the event.

Speaking to journalists on Friday, Putin reiterated Moscow’s perception of the upcoming event as a mere ruse by Kiev and the West.

”They want to gather as many nations as possible, convince everyone that the best proposal is the terms of the Ukrainian side, and then send it to us in the form of an ultimatum,” he said. “Is that the way one negotiates seriously? Certainly not.”

Russia and Ukraine had a preliminary agreement on a peace deal in 2022 which would have been beneficial for both sides, Putin noted. But after the general terms were negotiated, Kiev backtracked and declared it would be seeking a military victory instead. The attempt to force its demands on Moscow will fail just as the attempt to inflict a ‘strategic defeat’ on Russia has failed, Putin vowed.

The agreements made in Istanbul could serve as the basis for a future peace treaty, the Russian leader said. The benefits for Ukraine in the document were proposed by Kiev’s side, presumably with Western consent, if not authorship, Putin suggested. However, any future agreement “will have to take into account the realities on the ground,” he added.

Following the collapse of the peace talks in 2022, four regions of Ukraine held referendums in which they voted overwhelmingly in favor of breaking away from Kiev and joining Russia. The Ukrainian government has rejected the votes as a “sham.”

The Ukrainian ‘peace formula’ demands the return of the four regions and Crimea, which voted to become part of Russia in 2014, war reparations, a tribunal for the Russian leadership, and long-term global support for restoration of the country. Putin called it a “wish list” rather than a serious foundation for talks.