HomeTop StoriesThe Kremlin did not see the peace agreement with Ukraine as a...

The Kremlin did not see the peace agreement with Ukraine as a basis for new talks

While Switzerland proposes to organize a peace summit to find a solution to the war in Ukraine, Moscow is now reviving an old solution, supplemented with further demands.

The Kremlin sees an agreement between Russia and Ukraine on a peace settlement that was negotiated shortly after the start of the war in 2022 but ultimately failed as a possible basis for a new solution.

The agreement, which was negotiated in Istanbul at the time, could serve as a basis for new negotiations, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the Interfax news agency on Friday.

“New territories are now enshrined in our constitution, which was not the case two years ago,” Peskov added.

The reactions are prompted by the Swiss proposal for a peace conference, which is primarily intended to mobilize more international support for Ukraine.

Talks with Moscow will only take place as a second step, which the Russian president has made Vladimir Putin has criticized.

During a meeting with Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko on Thursday, Russia’s Interfax news agency reported that Putin said it is clear that nothing can be decided without Moscow.

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In late March 2022, about a month after Putin ordered the large-scale invasion of Ukraine, negotiators from Ukraine and Russia reached a preliminary agreement to cease hostilities during talks in Istanbul, as it became clear that Moscow’s planned capture of Kiev would fail.

It later emerged that Ukraine had initially agreed to renounce NATO membership and remain neutral. However, the agreement was not implemented, partly due to disagreements over territorial claims.

Russia started the war on the pretext of “liberating” the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, partly controlled by pro-Russian separatists, from Kiev’s control.

Russia has since declared these two regions, as well as the areas of Kherson and Zaporizhia, its own territory in the constitution, despite having only partial military control of them.

The failure is also attributed to the revelation of atrocities committed by Russian soldiers against Ukrainian civilians in Kiev suburbs such as Bucha. This made reconciliation for Ukraine impossible.

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Russia’s conditions include maintaining territorial gains and Ukraine becoming a demilitarized, neutral country that will not join NATO.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky calls for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory.

Peskov declined to elaborate on Moscow’s territorial claims, saying it was too early for details on “theoretical negotiations.” There are still no signs that Ukraine is ready to talk, he added.

Meanwhile, officials said Friday that both warring sides exchanged the bodies of more than 120 dead soldiers.

Ukraine had recovered 99 dead soldiers, the agency responsible for prisoners of war in Kiev said via Telegram on Friday.

It said 77 of them were killed in the Donetsk region, 20 in the Zaporizhia region and two in the Kharkov region.

Russia, in turn, has received 23 bodies of soldiers, Russian news site RBK reported, citing Duma deputy Shamsail Saraliev.

Exact numbers of casualties among military personnel are generally kept secret by both sides. But last month Zelensky estimated his own party’s losses at around 31,000 dead.

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Western estimates put the death toll much higher.

US estimates as of mid-2023 put the number of Ukrainian soldiers killed at around 70,000 and the number of Russian soldiers killed at 120,000.

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