“Putin ready for a ceasefire that establishes the current positions on the ground”


By John

A ceasefire that establishes the current positions on the ground: these are the conditions under which Vladimir Putin would be ready to stop hostilities in Ukraine, according to a Reuters article which cites four sources close to the Russian president.

Putin himself stated that he was ready for negotiations that start from the “reality that has been created on the ground”, but added that the basis must be the draft outlined by Ukrainian and Russian negotiators in Istanbul in March 2022. While his spokesperson , Dmitry Peskov, denied that a freeze in hostilities on the current positions could be accepted.

“The president has repeatedly said that he is ready for negotiations, but to achieve the goals that we are now achieving with the special military operation,” Peskov said. Unclear positions, therefore, while the EU expresses scepticism.

“Just speculation” based on “anonymous sources”, a senior European official told ANSA, commenting on the agency's article. While according to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, “this war can only end when Russia understands that it has to withdraw its troops.”

The Istanbul draft envisaged developing mechanisms for Ukraine's security, excluding its entry into NATO, but with guarantees provided by various countries – including Italy – while it was hypothesized that the negotiations on the future of Crimea and Donbass could last up to 15 years.

In an interview, Ukraine's chief negotiator, David Arakhamia, said that Kiev decided to abandon negotiations for various regions, including pressure from then British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Russia felt “deceived” by this reversal, according to Putin, who now adds another element of uncertainty. Volodymyr Zelensky's legitimacy as Ukrainian president, he said, “expired” with the end of his term on May 20.

And therefore Moscow is now asking to know from the Ukrainian institutions which are the legitimate authorities with which to open any negotiations. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has always been against sending weapons to Kiev, has meanwhile raised the alarm over what he denounced as the preparations of the West, and in particular Europe, for an “entry into war” » with Russia.

But Budapest, he warned, is already working on a legal solution to “redefine” its status as a NATO member country, making it clear that it does not intend to participate in any actions of the Alliance itself outside its borders.

Orban's statements come as NATO prepares to discuss a new support package for Kiev at its summit scheduled for Washington in July, and as rumors multiply about a US green light for Ukraine to carry out long-range missile attacks. range provided by the Americans also on Russian territory.

Moscow's Defense Ministry said three US-made Atacms missiles were shot down last night over Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014. But Foreign Minister Serghei Lavrov said that weapons supplied by the United States are already being used by Kiev forces to strike civilian targets in Russia as well. Meanwhile, Putin met Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk, with whom he said he had discussed his country's participation in the ongoing exercises on the use of tactical nuclear weapons.

Spokesman Peskov also announced an upcoming visit by the Kremlin chief to North Korea. While China has denied, as an “unfounded and irresponsible defamation”, the accusations made by British Defense Minister Grant Shapps of supplying “lethal” weapons to Moscow to be used in the conflict in Ukraine. Zelensky has in the meantime returned to visit Kharkiv, the capital of the north-eastern region of the same name, theater of the latest Russian advance, starting from May 10th.

While Estonia accused Russia of removing 25 light buoys on the Narva river, which marks the border between the two countries. The Estonian Prime Minister, Kaja Kallas, denounced what she called a “border incident”. “Such actions are unacceptable”, warned the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, judging that they are part of “a broader pattern of provocative behavior and hybrid actions by Russia”.