Russia Offers Ukraine List of Demands, Says It Will Stop Military Operations 'In a Moment' if Met
Russia has released a list of four demands it’s calling preconditions for ending its invasion of Ukraine.
A Kremlin spokesman identified the terms on Monday, according to Reuters.
First, Dmitry Peskov said, Ukraine must halt all military action.
Russian propaganda has consistently invoked the “demilitarization” of Ukraine as an objective of the invasion, demanding that one of the largest countries in Europe remain defenseless.
Second, Russia wants Ukraine to recognize Crimea as Russian territory.
Russia forcibly annexed Crimea in 2014, seizing the region of southern Ukraine in response to growing pro-NATO and European Union sentiment in the former Soviet republic.
Third, Ukraine must recognize two regions of its territory as independent countries, following Russia’s recognition of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic last month.
Pro-Russian secessionist groups control population centers within the two regions of Eastern Ukraine, where conflict has occurred since 2014.
Such a move could lead to Russian annexation of Donetsk and Luhansk.
After Russian troops poured into Crimea in 2014, the region was briefly declared an “independent country” before its inhabitants supposedly voted to join Russia while facing the gun barrel of a Russian military occupation.
“We have also spoken about how they should recognize that Crimea is Russian territory and that they need to recognize that Donetsk and Lugansk are independent states,” Peskov told Reuters in a telephone interview.
Finally, Russia wants Ukraine to amend its constitution to bar the country from pursuing NATO membership.
“They should make amendments to the constitution according to which Ukraine would reject any aims to enter any bloc,” Peskov said, according to Reuters.
“And that’s it. It will stop in a moment,” he said.
Peskov said Ukraine was aware of the conditions.
The list of demands was outlined as Russian and Ukrainian diplomats begin a new round of talks at the border of Belarus and Poland.
Some Ukrainian leaders, such as former President Petro Poroshenko, have expressed doubt that negotiations will lead anywhere.
The terms, which undermine the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, are extremely unlikely to lead to a diplomatic agreement to end the conflict.
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