Putin outlines two conditions for Ukraine ceasefire and says negotiations could begin 'as early as tomorrow'

Zelensky/Nato jets/Putin
Putin's demands have been met with condemnation by Ukraine and the West
Reuters
James Saunders

By James Saunders


Published: 14/06/2024

- 19:26

Putin's demands - which sit completely at odds with Ukraine's desired terms - were slammed by Kyiv as 'absurd'

Vladimir Putin has said Russia will end its offensive in Ukraine if it agrees to two strict conditions - prompting fury and an instant rejection from Volodymyr Zelensky ahead of a landmark peace summit tomorrow.

Putin's demands - which sit completely at odds with Ukraine's desired terms - were slammed by Kyiv as "absurd" and drew condemnation from US officials who directly called out the Russian premier.


Putin said he would bring the war to a close if Ukraine agreed to drop its Nato ambitions and hand over the entirety of four oblasts claimed by Moscow - proposals seen as equivalent to surrender in Ukrainian eyes.

The "maximalist" conditions - entirely at odds with those demanded by Ukraine - are a reflection of Putin's confidence that his troops have taken the upper hand in the conflict as their grip tightens on Ukraine's embattled east.

Maps of Europe and Ukraine with a list of Russia's conditions overlaid

Ukraine swiftly rejected Putin's "absurd" ceasefire conditions

GB News

Putin repeated a number of terms he has used since his forces invaded in February 2022 - namely that Ukraine should demilitarise and that any peace deal should include a widespread lifting of Western sanctions.

He also repeated his call for Ukraine's "denazification", based on what Kyiv calls an unfounded slur against its leadership.

The Russian premier said: "The conditions are very simple," listing them as the full withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from the entirety of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

Russia had claimed the four oblasts as part of its own territory in 2022 - an act rejected by most UN member states as illegal - eight years after the seizure and annexation of Crimea.

MORE AS UKRAINE FIGHTS ON:

Zelensky/Nato jets/Putin

Putin's demands have been met with condemnation by Ukraine and the West

Reuters

Putin added: "As soon as they declare in Kyiv that they are ready for such a decision and begin a real withdrawal of troops from these regions, and also officially announce the abandonment of their plans to join Nato - on our side, immediately, literally at the same minute, an order will follow to cease fire and begin negotiations.

"I repeat, we will do this immediately. Naturally, we will simultaneously guarantee the unhindered and safe withdrawal of Ukrainian units and formations."

However, Ukraine said the conditions were "absurd".

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said: "He is offering for Ukraine to admit defeat.

Zelensky and Biden at G7 summit

Zelensky pictured with US President Joe Biden at the G7 summit in Italy

Reuters

"He is offering for Ukraine to legally give up its territories to Russia. He is offering for Ukraine to sign away its geopolitical sovereignty."

Ukrainian President Zelensky told Italy's SkyTG24 news channel: "These are ultimatum messages that are no different from messages from the past.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin took aim at Putin, saying "he is not in any position to dictate to Ukraine what they must do to bring about peace".

Putin's terms came just ahead of the "peace conference" in Switzerland - from which Russia has been excluded - where Zelensky seeks a show of international support for his own terms for an end to the war.

Vladimir Putin pointing

Putin will be confident his forces have the upper hand in the conflict

Reuters

The summit will be attended by representatives of more than 90 nations and organisations but is expected to shy away from territorial issues and focus instead on matters such as food security and nuclear safety in Ukraine.

The Kremlin has said the gathering will prove "futile" without Russia being represented.

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