Putin opposes Ukraine ceasefire, says Kiev could rearm itself


Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would never declare a ceasefire in Ukraine without Kiev fulfilling its conditions.

Ukraine could use a ceasefire to arm itself against new attacks, so a lasting solution to the conflict must first be negotiated, Putin said.

He referred to previous agreements on the conflict in Ukraine, which predate the large-scale Russian invasion and which ultimately ended up “in the trash bin”.

He was referring to the frozen conflict after Moscow illegally annexed Crimea and the presence of Moscow-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine.

“That is why we cannot just declare a ceasefire now in the hope that the other side will take positive steps,” Putin said at the end of the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a security forum.

“We cannot allow the enemy to use this ceasefire to improve its situation, arm itself, renew its army with the help of forced mobilization and prepare to continue the armed conflict,” Putin said at the event in the Kazakh capital Astana.

Russia has made several proposals to resolve the conflict, Putin added.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has rejected ceasefire proposals, the latest from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who generally enjoys good relations with Putin.

Ukraine is not ready to negotiate under the current circumstances and demands Russia’s complete withdrawal from all occupied territories, including Crimea, as a condition for peace, Zelensky said.

The Kremlin also rejected an offer from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to mediate between Moscow and Kiev, as proposed in Astana.

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