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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Russian Terms Offering to End War ‘in a Moment’ Dismissed by Zelenskyy

'I don’t think that in the days and weeks to come there will be a true negotiated solution...'

(Headline USA) Russia offered a set of conditions that would allow it to end its hostilities at a moment’s notice.

However, an emboldened Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy rebuffed the terms, criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin for his insular thinking.

“What needs to be done is for President Putin to stop talking, start the dialogue, instead of living in the informational bubble without oxygen,” Zelenskyy told ABC News.

“I think that’s where he is. He is in this bubble,” Zelenskyy continued. “He’s getting this information and you don’t know how realistic that information is that he’s getting.”

The conditions, first reported by Reuters stipulated that to end Russian aggression “in a moment,” Ukraine must first:

  •  cease military action
  • change its constitution to enshrine neutrality
  • acknowledge Crimea as Russian territory
  • recognise the separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk as independent states.

Both Russia and Ukraine say they’ve made a little progress during a third round of talks and Russia’s top negotiator says the corridors are expected to start functioning Tuesday.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Zelenskyy, said without elaboration Monday that “there were some small positive shifts regarding logistics of humanitarian corridors” to allow civilians to flee some besieged Ukrainian cities. He said that consultations will continue on ways to negotiate an end to hostilities.

Russia’s top negotiator Vladimir Medinsky, said he expects that humanitarian corridors in Ukraine will finally start functioning Tuesday. He said no progress has been made on a political settlement, but voiced hope that the next round could be more productive.

“Our expectations from the talks have failed, but we hope that we would be able to make a more significant step forward next time,” Medinsky said. “The talks will continue.”

Efforts to set up safe passage for civilians over the weekend fell apart amid continued shelling. But the Russian Defense Ministry announced a new push Monday, saying civilians would be allowed to leave the capital of Kyiv, Mariupol and the cities of Kharkiv and Sumy.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that he does not expect a negotiated end to the war in Ukraine for weeks.

He said that he has told the Russian leader that a cease-fire must come before any real dialogue, but that Putin has refused, making their regular talks “difficult.”

“I don’t think that in the days and weeks to come there will be a true negotiated solution,” Macron said at a forum in Poissy, a southwest suburb of Paris, while campaigning for the first time to renew his mandate in April presidential elections.

He said that Putin is making a “historic fault” with his war pitted against Ukrainians, “brothers.”

Macron stressed the need to respect the people of all countries … “and ensure that no nation, no people be humiliated.”

Macron said that Russia, too, must be respected as a country and people because “There is no durable peace if Russia is not [part of] a … grand architecture of peace on our continent. Because History and geography are stubborn.”

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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