Putin says Russia will cease fire if Ukraine pulls troops from 4 regions, drops NATO bid

President Vladimir Putin said that Russia would cease fire and enter peace talks if Ukraine dropped its NATO bid / ambitions and withdrew its forces from four Ukrainian regions claimed by Moscow.

On the eve of a peace conference in Switzerland to which Russia has not been invited, Putin set out a series of conditions wholly at odds with the terms demanded by Ukraine.

“The conditions are very simple,” Putin said, listing these as the full withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from the entire territory of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions in eastern and southern Ukraine.

“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,” he said.

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

Russia controls nearly a fifth of Ukrainian territory in the third year of the war.

Ukraine says peace can only be based on a full withdrawal of Russian forces and the restoration of its territorial integrity.

The weekend summit in Switzerland, which will be attended by representatives of more than 90 nations and organisations, 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.

(Reporting by Reuters, writing by Mark TrevelyanEditing by Andrew Osborn and Gareth Jones)

Source: https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/putin-says-west-needs-find-way-work-with-russia-2024-06-14/