Putin wants to resume peace talks with Ukraine if he maintains his achievements

Putin wants to resume peace talks with Ukraine if he maintains his achievements
Putin wants to resume peace talks with Ukraine if he maintains his achievements

BarcelonaRussian President Vladimir Putin asked this Friday to resume peace negotiations with Ukraine. From a press conference in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, the Russian leader has asked to sit down again with Kiiv to “sign legally binding documents.” “To return [las negociaciones]! But let them return based on the current situation on the ground. We are willing to do so,” he stated. Putin has questioned whether his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, should be at the negotiating table. The Ukrainian president’s mandate ended on May 20 and this, for the Russian president, means that “the legitimacy of the head of state [de Ucrania] has expired”.

According to sources close to the Russian president consulted -, Putin’s idea is to “freeze the war”, that is, for Ukraine to hand over to Russia all the territories that are currently under Moscow’s control. It is not the first time he has made an offer of this type. The president offered a ceasefire with the same conditions in the United States last February, according to Reuters.

The same sources believe that Putin wants to take advantage of the momentum of Russia to leave the war behind and sell the annexation of these Ukrainian territories as a victory.

And Russia has been taking the initiative on the battlefield for months. Moscow already controls 18% of Ukrainian territory and two weeks ago opened a new front near the city of Kharkiv, in northeastern Ukraine.

Another reason why Putin made this change in speech, according to sources close to the Kremlin, is the fact that a total victory on the ground is almost impossible. Any new major offensive on Ukrainian territory would mean a new mobilization of reservists. After the first nationwide recruitment, in September 2022, its popularity plummeted and thousands of men fled the country.

Nothing indicates, however, that Ukraine will have to agree to sit down with the Russian president this time. Zelensky has insisted several times that he will not accept any cession of territory to Russia and, in fact, signed a decree in 2022 formally declaring that any negotiations with Putin are “impossible.”

Kiiv’s efforts to reach a peace agreement involve the summit to be held this June in Switzerland, where leaders from around the world will study the ten-point formula that Zelensky presented in 2022. There are guests from Russian allies, such as China, But the Ukrainian president has stated several times that he does not believe Moscow has to attend.

Putin said last week, during his visit to China, that peace could not come from Switzerland because then it would be an “imposed condition” and not a “serious negotiation.” “I believe that one of the objectives of the conference is for the Western community, the sponsors of the Kiiv regime, to confirm the legitimacy of the head of state,” the Russian president said at this Friday’s press conference.

The Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmitro Kuleba, told X that if Putin now defends returning to negotiations it is because “he is scared of the success” of the summit in Switzerland. “Putin has no intention of ending his aggression in Ukraine. Only the voice of a global majority can force you to choose peace over war,” he assured.

Zelensky will travel to Madrid this Monday

The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, will travel to Madrid this Monday, just over a week after canceling an official visit to the Spanish capital to focus on the new front that Russia opened in the Ukrainian region of Kharkiv. Zelensky plans to meet with the president of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, and sign the bilateral security agreement with which Spain commits to continue providing military support to Kiiv. It will be the first bilateral visit of the president of Ukraine to Spain, although he already attended the summit of the European Political Community, in Granada, last October.

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