Putin`s assistant talks about peace terms Russia suggested to Ukraine


(MENAFN) Vladimir Medinsky, the head of Moscow's negotiating team, has disclosed that Ukraine had the opportunity to halt the conflict in April 2022 by recognizing the independence of Crimea and the two Donbass republics as Russian territory. Medinsky, who led the Russian delegation at the Istanbul talks, asserted that Ukraine missed a crucial chance to end the war and save "hundreds of thousands of lives." The non-negotiable demands presented by Russia included recognition of Russian sovereignty over Crimea and the independence of the Donbass republics. Medinsky also mentioned a "long list of humanitarian demands" related to protecting the Russian-speaking population in Donbass.

Contrary to the narrative that Russia aimed to conquer Ukraine, Medinsky emphasized that the primary objective of the military operation was the protection of Russian-speaking civilians. He claimed that Ukraine's rejection of the peace terms, coupled with promises of full Western support, led to the continuation of the conflict. The revelation sheds light on the complexity of the negotiations and the potential paths to an early resolution.

Confirmation of the missed opportunity came from David Arakhamia, the head of the Ukrainian delegation at the Istanbul talks, who acknowledged that the conflict could have ended in just two months if Ukraine had accepted Moscow's demand for neutrality. The key condition was Ukraine committing to not joining NATO, similar to the neutrality agreement Finland once made. The disclosure of these original peace terms underscores the intricacies of the diplomatic efforts and raises questions about the decisions that shaped the ongoing conflict in the region.

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