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Draft of failed Russia-Ukraine peace deal revealed – NYT

The American media outlet has published what it claims are documents discussed by Moscow and Kiev in 2022

The New York Times published several documents on Saturday that it claims are draft versions of a peace deal negotiated in Istanbul by Moscow and Kiev in the first months of the Ukraine conflict. According to the outlet, the US and Poland were “alarmed” by the proposed deal, fearing it would lead to the “disarmament” of Ukraine.

The American daily published a total of three documents. The first one dated March 17, 2022, is claimed to be a draft treaty text proposed by the Ukrainian side. The English-language version supposedly obtained by the NYT was provided by Kiev to its Western backers.

Ukraine allegedly agreed to a status of “permanent neutrality” in exchange for security guarantees from the US, UK, France, Russia, and China. It also supposedly vowed to not join any military blocs and terminate any agreements incompatible with its neutral status.

Kiev also was to recognize Crimea as Russian and the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as independent states, as well as restore the infrastructure destroyed there between 2014 and 2022. The document also set limits to the amount of heavy military equipment Ukraine could have, although Russia said that it did not in fact “provide for reduction in Armed Forces,” according to the outlet.

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Talks between Russian and Ukrainian representatives in Istanbul in April 2022.
Details of failed Russia-Ukraine peace deal ‘revealed’ – WSJ

The document published by NYT is also riddled with critical notes from both sides calling certain provisions or wordings “unacceptable.” The annotations reportedly do not show either Ukrainian opposition to the idea of recognizing Crimea as part of Russia or to formally granting independence to the Donbass republics.

According to the NYT, the draft agreement did not sit well with US officials. At a meeting with their Ukrainian counterparts, the Americans called it “unilateral disarmament,” an unnamed senior official told the paper. Poland was also reportedly alarmed and wanted to prevent the deal from being closed. The nation’s president, Andrzej Duda, met with NATO leaders in March to that end, NYT said.

The second document, dated to late March, was allegedly an internal joint communique, which expanded the list of security guarantors for Ukraine and said that the status of Crimea was to be determined by Moscow and Kiev during a period of 10 to 15 years.

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Russia is making another real peace proposal today – Putin

The third document was reportedly a draft treaty agreement dated April 15, 2022. Under its provisions, Ukraine was still to become a permanently neutral nation in exchange for security guarantees, but was explicitly allowed to join the EU and participate in its “peacekeeping missions.” The decision on the status of Crimea was to be postponed.

Kiev refused to discuss sanctions on Russia and mutual legal claims filed with various international bodies. It also would not consider issues related to the status of the Russian language inside Ukraine or banning Nazi and neo-Nazi propaganda, according to the document.

Moscow demanded any future military assistance to Ukraine be provided only on the basis of a collective decision by all security guarantors. This demand turned out to be the biggest problem for Kiev, the NYT claimed, adding that the parties also failed to agree on the range of weapons Ukraine would have been allowed to have.

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Zelensky conference not about peace – Kremlin

Some members of the Ukrainian delegation at the talks still believed they were very close to striking a deal. “We managed to find a very real compromise,” Aleksandr Chaly, one of the Ukrainian negotiators said last December. “We were very close in the middle of April, in the end of April, to finalize our war with some peaceful settlement.”

Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin also said that the two sides had managed to reach an agreement that “was generally acceptable to both Moscow and Kiev.” A draft treaty was drawn up that was initialed by the head of the Ukrainian delegation, the president said. “That means that Kiev… was satisfied with such a solution.”

Moscow has not yet officially commented on the authenticity of the documents, which the NYT says were confirmed by unnamed participants at the talks. The two sides have not sat at the negotiating table since spring 2022, when Kiev backed out of the discussions.

Ukraine’s top negotiator in Istanbul, David Arakhamia, stated last November that then British Prime Minister Boris Johnson traveled to Kiev specifically to persuade Vladimir Zelensky to withdraw from the talks.

Russia has since repeatedly signaled its readiness for dialogue, while accusing Kiev and its Western backers of refusing to engage in diplomacy.

June 15, 2024 at 11:29PM

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