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Putin’s peace proposal still valid – Kremlin

The Russian president has insisted that Moscow is open to resolving the Ukraine conflict through negotiations with Kiev

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s peace proposal for Ukraine remains on the table despite Kiev’s recent missile attack on Sevastopol, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday.

Ukraine conducted a missile barrage on Russia’s Crimean peninsula on Sunday using US-made ATACMS equipped with cluster munition warheads. While Russian air defenses managed to intercept the missiles, one ended up exploding in the air above the city of Sevastopol, leading to casualties among the civilian population. 

According to local health authorities, at least four people were killed in the attack, including two children, and more than 150 others were injured.

Commenting on the incident, Peskov said Moscow is well aware of “who is behind the barbaric missile attack on Sevastopol.” He recalled Putin’s recent statement about Western-supplied “technologically complex missiles,” like the ATACMS used in Sunday’s strike, which he said are not being aimed by Kiev, but by the West, which designates the targets and greenlights the launches.

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Nevertheless, Peskov pointed out that Putin’s peace proposal for Ukraine remains valid and stated that the timeframe of this offer remains unchanged.

Earlier this month, the Russian president said that Moscow would be prepared to immediately open peace talks with Kiev if it withdraws all of its troops from Russia’s Donbass, as well as the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. Putin also demanded that Ukraine commit to a neutral status and complete the processes of “demilitarization” and “denazification.” The talks would also have to be followed by the lifting of Western sanctions against Russia, the president said.

Kiev and its Western backers have dismissed Putin’s proposal, with Vladimir Zelensky insisting on the withdrawal of Russian troops to the Ukraine’s 1991 borders as a precondition for any peace talks.

Putin has stated that he was not surprised by the West’s rejection of his plan but said he would keep the offer on the table for the time being. He added that negotiations around the withdrawal of Russian forces “will never happen” and suggested that Zelensky was intentionally dragging out the conflict to remain in power.

Meanwhile, Peskov has insisted that Putin’s peace proposal should not be interpreted as an “ultimatum” but rather as a “peace initiative that has been put forward while taking into account the realities on the ground.”

June 24, 2024 at 10:26PM

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