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Putin rejects ceasefire before negotiations with Ukraine

5 July, 2024 Friday
14:45

Russian leader Vladimir Putin has said that the Istanbul agreements can be used as a basis for negotiations with Ukraine, but rejected the possibility of a ceasefire before the talks begin

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He said this at the SCO summit in Astana on July 4, Russian propaganda agency RIA Novosti reported.

Сommenting on Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's proposal for a ceasefire to start negotiations between Ukraine and Russia, Putin said, "A ceasefire on the contact line is impossible before peace talks with Ukraine begin."

"Moscow cannot declare a ceasefire, hoping for positive steps from the other side," the Russian leader emphasized.

Back in April 2024, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia would not cease fire even if negotiations with Ukraine began.

At the SCO summit, Putin also said that "it is impossible to end the conflict with Ukraine through mediators, but Moscow welcomes mediation itself."

Putin on the so-called Istanbul agreements

Putin thanked Turkish President Recep Erdogan for his mediation in the drafting of the Istanbul agreements with Ukraine. According to the Russian dictator, the terms, and principles of the ceasefire developed during the face-to-face talks between Russia and Ukraine in March 2022 "have not disappeared".

"These agreements were initialed by the head of the Ukrainian negotiating delegation, and therefore, apparently, they were quite satisfactory to Ukraine, these agreements - the Istanbul agreements - remain on the table and can be the basis for continuing these negotiations," the Kremlin's leader said.

Putin thanked the summit participants "for their sincere and concrete proposals" for a peaceful settlement of the conflict, and stressed that Russia had not given up on negotiations. He claims that Ukraine abandoned the talks at the instruction of London and Washington.

"Russia, as you know, has never refused and is now ready to continue peace talks. It was Ukraine that refused to negotiate, and it did so publicly on the direct instructions of London, and therefore there is no doubt about it, and Washington, as Ukrainian officials say directly and openly," the Russian leader concluded.

Ukraine's response

In a comment to LIGA.net, Oleksandr Merezhko, chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Foreign Policy, said that no Istanbul agreements exist.

"The fact is that no Istanbul agreements exist in nature. Putin is blatantly lying. Yes, negotiations took place, but after the whole world saw the traces of Russian crimes in Bucha and Irpin, they lost their meaning. And no agreements were reached," the MP said.

According to him, agreements can only be discussed when the parties have "clearly and unambiguously" agreed on the text of the document. Nothing of the sort happened in Istanbul.

Regarding the alleged initialing of the agreements, Merezhko noted that according to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 1969, initialing is possible only when both parties have fully agreed on the text of the document and will not return to it. Putin cannot but know this, but he is deliberately lying, the Ukrainian politician emphasized.

"Putin is trying to pretend that he is for 'peace' and a 'diplomatic solution', but in fact he is not interested in just peace and compliance with international law. He wants to destroy the statehood of Ukraine. This is his main goal. Therefore, negotiations with him do not make sense," Merezhko summarized.

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