The Russian Foreign Ministry has said that in order to achieve peace, Kiev must abandon its NATO and EU aspirations, recognize the “new territorial realities” and make Russian the state language. Zelensky’s office put forward counter-conditions.
Peace in Ukraine is possible if the country refuses to join the EU and NATO and returns to non-aligned status. This was stated by the deputy head of the Russian Foreign Ministry Mikhail Galusin. He said:
“To achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace, Ukraine must return to the neutral, non-aligned status enshrined in its 1990 Declaration of State Sovereignty and renounce NATO and EU accession.”
Russia believes that an agreement will only be possible if the Ukrainian armed forces stop fighting and the West stops supplying weapons, Galusin said. In addition, Ukraine must “recognize the new territorial realities that have resulted from the right of peoples to self-determination,” he said.
In order to resolve the conflict, it is also necessary to protect residents of Donbass, achieve demilitarization and denationalization of Ukraine, and eliminate the threat to Russia’s security from the territory of this country, Galusin said.
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Another important element of the solution is protection of the rights of Russian-speaking citizens and national minorities. In order to create peace in the country, it is necessary to enshrine the status of the Russian language in law. The deputy foreign minister also pointed out that the observance of basic human rights in Ukraine, including the right to freedom of religion, must be guaranteed.
Regarding Moscow’s demands on Kiev to resolve the conflict, Ukrainian Presidential Advisor Mikhail Podoliak set counter-conditions that the Ukrainian side considers realistic.
These include the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine, recognition of the sovereignty of the post-Soviet countries, the “extradition of war criminals and those responsible for war”, the creation of a demilitarized zone on the territory of Russia and the reduction in the number of long-range missiles. In addition, Podoljak said, an international conference should be convened to control Russia’s nuclear arsenal and legally documented “reparations” should be paid, including Moscow’s voluntary surrender of assets seized from other countries in favor of Ukraine.
The withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory is also included in the “peace formula” presented by the Ukrainian President. Regarding Zelensky’s proposals, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow would not negotiate under these conditions, while the Kremlin saw the words of the Ukrainian leader as a confirmation of Kiev’s refusal to engage in dialogue. The Russian authorities would equate the seizure of Russian assets in countries that had imposed sanctions on Moscow and the planned handover to Ukraine to theft.
Crimea became part of Russia in a referendum in 2014, while the Kherson and Zaporozhye Oblasts and the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics joined Russia in autumn 2022. Kiev considers these areas occupied.
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