Russia calls for ‘complete end’ to Ukraine war

Moscow wants to fully resolve the Ukraine conflict, rather than just agreeing to a ceasefire or freezing the hostilities, Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated.

The statement came after Putin met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Moscow on Friday.

Speaking at a joint press conference following their meeting, Putin stated there should not be a “ceasefire or some kind of pause that the Kiev regime could use to recover losses, regroup, and rearm. Russia is in favor of a complete and final end of the conflict.”

Putin noted, however, that the conflict can only end once a number of conditions are met. Specifically, the Russian leader stressed that Kiev must withdraw its forces from Donbass as well as the former Ukrainian regions of Zaporozhye and Kherson, all of which officially became part of Russia after voting in public referendums.

There are other conditions, Putin added, but stressed that these are a subject for “fairly detailed consideration in the course of possible joint work.”

Previously, Putin proposed an immediate ceasefire on condition that Ukraine agree to a number of terms. These include the aforementioned withdrawal of Ukrainian forces from all Russian territories, as well as legally binding guarantees that Kiev would not seek membership in NATO.

Kiev, as well as its Western backers, have rejected the plan, although Putin has nevertheless stated that the offer remains “on the table”. The Kremlin has encouraged the Ukrainian leadership to take time to consider it.

During Friday’s press conference, Orban noted that Moscow’s and Kiev’s positions on the conflict are far apart, and that it will require significant effort to bring an end to the fighting.

Putin suggested that judging by the attitude of the Ukrainian authorities and the current state of affairs, it seems evident that Kiev “is still not ready to give up waging war to a victorious end”.

On Thursday, Putin said Russia will continue to advocate for a peaceful resolution of the Ukraine conflict despite the fact that the crisis was caused by the actions of the United States.

Moscow has repeatedly stated that its decision to launch an offensive against Ukraine was motivated by the country’s ambitions to become a part of NATO, as well as its ongoing war against the people of Donbass, who rejected the Kiev government that came to power after a Western-backed coup in 2014.

Speaking at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in the Kazakhstan capital of Astana, Putin stated Moscow has repeatedly put forward specific proposals for the resolution of the Ukrainian issue. However, he added that these had been ignored or rejected by Kiev and its backers.

“Russia has always advocated and continues to advocate a peaceful political and diplomatic resolution to the situation in Ukraine – a crisis that arose as a result of the absolutely unceremonious policy of the United States and its satellites,” the Russian leader added.

He noted that Russia had presented its latest plan last month, which could “immediately” end hostilities, save countless lives, and initiate negotiations if accepted by Kiev and its Western backers.

The president was apparently referring to his earlier promise to order a ceasefire if Ukraine withdraws its troops from all territories claimed by Russia, vows not to seek membership of NATO, and completes a process of demilitarization and “denazification”.

The proposal was rejected by both Kiev and its international backers, who insist on returning Ukraine to its 1991 borders. Nevertheless, Putin has said his offer will remain “on the table” for the time being, while the Kremlin has encouraged the Ukrainian leadership to “think about it”.

Previously, Putin had pointed out that Ukraine’s reluctance to accept Russia’s proposals had already resulted in it losing sovereignty over the regions of Kherson and Zaporozhye early in the conflict. The president noted last month that Moscow had initially been prepared to withdraw its troops from these territories if it was promised an uninterrupted land connection to the Crimean peninsula.

Now, however, this offer is off the table and is closed to any debate, according to Putin, given that the two regions have officially become part of Russia after overwhelmingly voting to do so in public referendums in the fall of 2022.

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