Putin has set out his terms for a ceasefire in Ukraine


Vladimir Putin has said Ukraine must completely withdraw its troops from areas Russia claims it has annexed before a ceasefire could begin – a proposal Ukraine immediately called “insulting to common sense”.

Its chairman, Volodymyr Zelenskyhas long said that Ukraine will not negotiate with Moscow until Russian forces leave all Ukrainian territory, including Crimea.

The Russian president also said Ukraine must give up on joining NATO before peace talks can begin.

Putin’s statement outlining the terms for a ceasefire comes as leaders from 90 countries prepare to meet in Switzerland on Saturday to discuss paths to peace in Ukraine – a summit for which Russia has not has been invited.

At a meeting of Russian ambassadors in Moscow on Friday, Putin called on the Ukrainian government to withdraw from four regions partially occupied by Russia: Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia.

He also said that Ukraine would have to officially abandon its efforts to join the NATO military alliance in order to stop the Russian advance.

Putin said: “As soon as Kiev declares that it is ready for such a decision… an order from our side will immediately follow to cease fire and start negotiations, literally at the same minute.”

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mychailo Podolyak called the proposal a “complete sham” and “offensive to common sense.”

The country’s Foreign Ministry said: “It is absurd that Putin, who together with his accomplices planned, prepared and executed the largest armed aggression in Europe since World War II, presents himself as a peacemaker.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg rejected the offer, saying it was “not made in good faith.”

Mr Zelensky will attend the summit at Lake Lucerne in Switzerland on Saturday, where he will hope to show he still enjoys international support.

The Swiss government has said the aim of the summit is “to provide a forum where world leaders will discuss paths towards a just and lasting peace in Ukraine, based on international law and the UN Charter.”

Other attendees include US Vice President Kamala Harris, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Russia was not invited and China has said it will not attend without Russia’s presence.

The peace summit comes next G7 leaders agreed to use interest from frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine fight invading Russian forces.

About $325 billion in assets were frozen by the G7 countries, together with the EU, following Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The pot of assets generates about $3 billion a year in interest.

According to the G7 plan, that $3 billion will be used to pay off the annual interest on a $50 billion loan for the Ukrainians, taken out on international markets.

The money is not expected to arrive until the end of this year, but is seen as a longer-term solution to support Ukraine’s war effort and economy.

On the sidelines of the G7 summit, the US and Ukraine also signed a 10-year bilateral security agreement, which Kyiv hailed as “historic”.

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