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West refused to give Ukraine ‘firm’ security guarantees – top MP

Kiev’s backers advised it not to discuss the issue during talks with Russia in 2022, David Arakhamia has revealed

The West refused to provide Ukraine with any serious security guarantees during peace talks between Moscow and Kiev early in the conflict, Time magazine reported on Tuesday, citing Ukrainian MP David Arakhamia, who led Kiev’s delegation at the negotiations.

Time recalled that while the prospects for resolving the conflict currently seem remote, this was not the case in the spring of 2022, when Russia and Ukraine engaged in direct talks. It noted that within six weeks of dialogue, the two countries had reached the general outlines of a deal which would have seen Russia and other nations provide Ukraine with “security guarantees,” while the latter would agree to “permanent neutrality.” The provision would involve Ukraine abandoning its plans to join NATO, which is a major concern for Russia.

According to Time, while the Kremlin was apparently willing to consider these terms, the talks soon broke down for several reasons, including allegations of Russian war crimes in the town of Bucha outside Kiev, which Moscow has vehemently denied.

Arakhamia told the outlet that another major reason was that the West had “refused to make any firm promise to stop Russia from invading again in the future.” “They actually advised us not to go into ephemeral security guarantees,” the MP said.

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At the same time, the failure of the talks stemmed from the battlefield situation, as Russian troops withdrew from several areas, including the outskirts of Kiev, the report said. Moscow has said it pulled out from the vicinity of the Ukrainian capital as a “gesture of good will” to facilitate the talks that were underway at the time. As Ukraine managed to gain more ground in the autumn of 2022, its Western backers urged it “to resume the peace talks from a position of strength.” 

Time noted that while Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky was reluctant to open talks, he produced a “compromise” peace formula which demanded that Russia withdraw from all territories Kiev claims as its own. Moscow has rejected the offer as detached from reality.

Earlier this month, ahead of a Swiss-hosted Ukraine ‘peace summit’ which Russia was not invited to, President Vladimir Putin shared a new proposal to start negotiations. He stated that Moscow would be ready to immediately open peace talks if Kiev withdrew all of its troops from Russia’s Donbass, as well as the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, while committing to neutrality. The overture was dismissed by both Kiev and the West.

June 26, 2024 at 01:09PM

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