NewsUkraine proposes peace talks under Zelensky's formula, Russia skeptical

Ukraine proposes peace talks under Zelensky's formula, Russia skeptical

Ukraine announces readiness to negotiate. Russia: plan pointless
Ukraine announces readiness to negotiate. Russia: plan pointless
Images source: © East News | AA/ABACA
6:58 AM EDT, March 29, 2024

Ukraine may initiate peace talks with Russia using President Volodymyr Zelensky's "peace formula," as announced by Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine's Foreign Minister. However, Moscow has deemed the plan "pointless," arguing that it demands the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine's occupied territories.

Ukraine could begin negotiations with Russia under the "peace formula" proposed by Zelensky, stated Dmytro Kuleba, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister. He mentioned that Kyiv is prepared to engage in diplomatic processes between summits where Ukraine's peace plan will be discussed.

"At the first summit, we'll gather all countries that align with these principles (outlined in Zelensky's "peace formula"), and they will select the aspects they wish to focus on. Between the first and second summit, we could engage in discussions with Russia based on terms agreed upon by the participants," Kuleba said during an interview with Indian TV NDTV.

Switzerland to host a peace conference

On a recent visit to Switzerland, the President of Ukraine requested Bern to host a high-level peace conference to explore solutions to the conflict. Swiss President Viola Amherb expressed her pleasure in accommodating this request.

At the end of February, Andriy Yermak, head of the Presidential Office of Ukraine, mentioned inviting Russia to the second conference. Zelensky confirmed Kyiv's intention to present the settlement plan to Moscow, yet clarified he doesn't view it as negotiations.

Russia criticizes the peace formula

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov criticized Ukraine's peace plan as "pointless," arguing it rests on unacceptable conditions like Moscow's withdrawal from occupied territories. In an Izvestia newspaper interview, Lavrov stated the summit's success depends on changing its foundational conditions, including Russia's participation.

"We are open to dialogue, just not under Zelensky's 'peace formula,'" reiterated Lavrov.

A critical aspect of Zelensky's formula is withdrawing Russian forces from Ukrainian territories. Russia has consistently refused, hoping its annexation efforts, including in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia, will go unpunished.

Vladimir Putin has previously claimed Moscow's willingness to engage in talks, albeit under conditions favorable only to Putin. Lavrov deemed unacceptable the plan's demands for Russia to vacate occupied areas, including Crimea, annexed in 2014, and to revert to Ukraine's 1991 post-Soviet borders, alongside holding Russia accountable for its aggression against Ukraine.

Potential negotiations within this year?

Zelensky introduced the "peace formula" at the G20 summit in November 2022, comprising 10 points.

Meanwhile, "The New York Times" reports that Putin has been open to a ceasefire and negotiations with Kyiv since September last year but refuses to relinquish occupied territories, which Kyiv cannot accept.

"Despite the exhaustion on both sides, there's a chance for dialogue," said Admiral James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO in Europe. He anticipates talks between Moscow and Kyiv could start before the end of 2024, possibly after the November presidential elections in the USA.

source: PAP / NYT / Moscow Times / Reuters / Izvestia

Related content