Russian President Vladimir Putin listed three conditions for a peaceful settlement in Ukraine during a call with his French colleague Emmanuel Macron on Monday, including acknowledgement of Russian authority over Crimea.
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Putin informed Macron that Russia was “open to negotiations with representatives of Ukraine,” as per the Kremlin’s summary of the phone calls.
Putin, on the other hand, insisted that a deal could be reached “only if Russia’s legitimate security interests were unconditionally taken into account,” which includes:
- “the recognition of Russian sovereignty over Crimea
- the fulfillment of the tasks of demilitarizing and
- denazifying the Ukrainian state and ensuring its neutral status.”
Earlier, Putin warned that Russia will go to war with France if Ukraine joins NATO. According to Putin, a Ukrainian assault on Crimea might spark Article 5 of NATO’s founding agreement, drawing the whole of Europe into a war against Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin also stated that his nation’s troops had not endangered civilians or attacked civilian targets.
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“The threat comes from the Ukrainian nationalists, who use the civilian population as a human shield, deliberately place strike weapon systems in residential areas, and intensified shelling of the cities of Donbass,” the Kremlin said.
Macron “has reiterated the international community’s demand to stop Russia’s attack against Ukraine,” according to a statement from the French presidency, and has advocated for an urgent ceasefire.
Although talks between Kiev and Moscow continue, Macron has made three requests that “have to be respected on the ground.” He asked Russia to promptly “stop all strikes and attacks against civilians and places of residence,” “preserve civil infrastructure,” and “secure the main routes,” which includes the southern route to Kiev.
Putin demonstrated a “willingness to commit” to these three matters, according to the Elysee.
In addition, the French president urged his Russian counterpart to “respect international humanitarian law” and “delivery of aid” law as well.
“To prevent the situation from worsening,” the two leaders decided to keep in touch.
On February 24, Putin announced the start of a Russian “special military operation” in Ukraine, with the purpose of “demilitarizing” the country and ensuring the protection of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Russia. The operation has been criticized by Western countries, who have slapped severe economic sanctions on Moscow.