Putin Pledges Ukraine Cease-Fire if Kyiv Withdraws From Territories Claimed by Russia and Drops NATO Bid

Such a deal appears to be a nonstarter for Kyiv, which wants to join the military alliance and has demanded that Russia withdraw its troops from all of its territory.

AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko
President Putin at the Russian Foreign Ministry at Moscow, June 14, 2024. AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko

President Putin promised Friday to “immediately” order a cease-fire in Ukraine and begin negotiations if Kyiv starts withdrawing troops from the four regions annexed by Moscow and renounces plans to join NATO.

Such a deal appears to be a nonstarter for Kyiv, which wants to join the military alliance and has demanded that Russia withdraw its troops from all of its territory. There was no immediate comment from Ukraine on Mr. Putin’s proposal.

“We will do it immediately,” Mr. Putin said in a speech at the Russian Foreign Ministry at Moscow.

His remarks came as leaders of the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations met in Italy and as Switzerland prepared to host scores of world leaders — but not from Moscow — this weekend to try to map out first steps toward peace in Ukraine.

Mr. Putin said his proposal is aimed at a “final resolution” of the conflict in Ukraine rather than “freezing it,” and stressed that the Kremlin is “ready to start negotiations without delay.”

Broader demands for peace that the Russian leader listed included Ukraine’s non-nuclear status, restrictions on its military force and protecting the interests of the Russian-speaking population in the country.

All of these should become part of “fundamental international agreements,” and all Western sanctions against Russia should be lifted, Mr. Putin said.

“We’re urging to turn this tragic page of history and to begin restoring, step-by-step, restore the unity between Russia and Ukraine and in Europe in general,” he said.


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