‘Leave Annexed Territories, Drop NATO Plans’: Putin’s Truce Offer Branded ‘Absurd’ by Ukraine

Moscow/Kyiv: Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered an immediate cease-fire in Ukraine, contingent on Kyiv withdrawing its troops from four regions annexed by Moscow in 2022 and renouncing its NATO membership plans. Ukraine dismissed Putin’s proposal as “manipulative” and “absurd.”

Putin’s proposal, delivered at the Russian Foreign Ministry, coincided with high-profile international events: a peace conference in Switzerland (without Russian representation), a G7 meeting in Italy, and the recent signing of a U.S.-Ukraine 10-year security pact.

In a speech at the Russian Foreign Ministry, Putin outlined broader demands, including Ukraine’s recognition of Crimea as Russian territory, maintaining a non-nuclear status, restricting military forces, and protecting Russian-speaking populations. He also called for lifting all Western sanctions against Russia.

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry labelled the plan as misleading and designed to disrupt diplomatic efforts. Kyiv maintains its stance on joining NATO, restoring territorial integrity, and holding Russia accountable for war crimes.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg both dismissed Putin’s proposal as a guise for further aggression and occupation.

Despite Putin’s call for immediate negotiations, Ukrainian officials and Western leaders remain sceptical, viewing the proposal as a strategy to avoid accountability and continue the conflict under new terms.

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