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Russian President Putin demands Ukraine surrender four regions, abandon bid to join NATO to stop war

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 15 June 2024, 10:35 IST
Russian President Vladimir Putin (File)

Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia will only put an end to its war in Ukraine if Kyiv surrenders the entire territory of four regions claimed by Moscow and abandons its bid to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), CNN reported.

Ukraine rejects demands

Ukraine has rejected Putin's demand and termed it a "complete sham" and "offensive to common sense."

Putin makes 'Final End' offer

In his remarks on Friday, Putin mentioned Russia's conditions for a "final end" to the war in more granular detail than at any previous time since the conflict between Moscow and Kyiv started in February 2022.

Putin criticises Swiss Peace Conference 

Putin's speech came on the eve of the Swiss peace conference set to be held in Switzerland, where Russia has not been invited.

He called the conference "another ploy to divert everyone's attention." In addition to Ukrainian soldiers withdrawing from four regions, Putin said that Kyiv must demilitarise and that Western nations must lift their sanctions on Russia.

Putin's demand indicates Russia's failure to achieve its original war aims, when Moscow believed it could capture Kyiv in days and the rest of Ukraine in weeks, CNN reported.

Russia occupies considerable territory

However, Russia, nearly 28 months later, occupied around a fifth of Ukrainian territory, including the Crimean peninsula it annexed 10 years back.

In comments to the foreign ministry, Putin termed Russia's conditions for peace talks "simple," starting with the total withdrawal of Ukraine's soldiers from the entire territory of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. Russia only partially controls these regions, but it claimed the four regions as part of Russia's territory in 2022.

Putin said that Ukraine should surrender not jut the territory on the Russian side of the frontline but the "entire territory of these regions."

The Russian President said, "As soon as they declare in Kyiv that they are ready for such a decision and begin the real withdrawal of troops from these regions - and also officially notify about the abandonment of plans to join NATO - our side will immediately, at the same minute, make the order to cease fire and begin negotiations," CNN reported.

Peace terms and international agreement

Putin promised to "guarantee the unhindered and safe withdrawal of Ukrainian units and formations." He stated that Russia acknowledges its role in global stability and stressed that his terms for ending the war in Ukraine would need to be cemented in international agreements.

Zelensky Reacts

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine "does not trust" Putin's "ultimatum," which he said did not significantly differ from offers he has made before, CNN reported.

In his remarks at the Group of Seven (G7) Summit in Italy, Zelenskyy spoke about similarities between Putin's tactics and those used by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler to conquer swaths of Europe in the 1930s and 1940s, as per the CNN report.

Russia's offer offensive: Podolyak

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak urged Ukraine's allies to "get rid of illusions" and stop taking Russia's offers seriously, terming Putin's terms "offensive to common sense."

Podolyak said, "There is no novelty in this, no real peace proposals and no desire to end the war. But there is a desire not to pay for this war and to continue it in new formats. It's all a complete sham."

(With ANI inputs)


First published: 15 June 2024, 10:35 IST