Publish dateMonday 25 December 2023 - 09:50
Story Code : 282830
New York Times: Putin has announced his readiness for a ceasefire in Ukraine
The New York Times reported that the President of Russia has sent a message through several intermediaries in recent months that he is ready to agree on a ceasefire for the war in Ukraine, including by stopping the fighting on the current contact line in this country.
Afghan Voice Agency (AVA): The New York Times has published this information from two former senior Russian officials close to the Kremlin and several American and foreign officials.

Sources cited by the New York Times said that American officials believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin made efforts to obtain a ceasefire for the war in Ukraine a year ago in the fall of 2022. These sources claimed that Putin's request, which was not made public before, was raised after Ukraine defeated the Russian forces in the northeast region. They further claimed that Putin at that time showed his satisfaction with the lands that Russia had occupied and said that he was ready for a ceasefire.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin recently said, following the defeat of the Ukrainian army's counterattack and the weakening of Western support for Kiev, Russia's war goals in Ukraine have not changed. In a speech to a group of Russian army generals last Tuesday, he stated that Ukraine is so helpless that Russian soldiers "will do whatever we want."

"We will not surrender what is ours," Putin promised. If they want to negotiate, let them come to negotiate."

The New York Times claimed that Putin recently used backdoor diplomacy to send a different message that he is ready to make an agreement.

According to this report, Putin has privately spoken about his desire to "declare victory and move on" in the Ukraine war.

"The Russians say we are ready to negotiate a ceasefire," said a senior international official who met with Russian officials this fall. "They want to remain on the positions they currently have on the battlefield."

However, several US officials claimed that this could be a misleading effort on the part of the Kremlin and does not reflect Putin's true willingness to compromise. The former Russian officials also added that Vladimir Putin may change his mind if Russian troops once again gain an advantage on the battlefield.

A former senior Russian official said the Kremlin is sending an implicit message that Putin is willing to stay where he is, but unwilling to back down even an inch.

According to several former and current officials, Putin has a set of factors in mind that would create a favorable time to reach a peace agreement. These factors include: the stalemate on the battlefield, the failure of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, the weakening of Western support for Kiev, and the distraction from the Russian-Ukrainian war due to the situation in the Gaza Strip.

In his public speeches, Putin has emphasized that he is in conflict with the West, which wants to destroy "thousand-year-old Russian civilization".

According to this report, several American officials said they saw a change in Vladimir Putin's position and claimed that the Russian president no longer requests the resignation of the Zelenskyi government. They claimed that the truce proposed by Putin would preserve the sovereignty of Ukraine with Kyiv as its capital, but would lead to Russia controlling about 20% of Ukraine's territory.

US sources added that while Vladimir Putin has expressed his agreement to such an agreement, he is also waiting for a more concrete proposal.

According to this Western newspaper, one of the possible obstacles on the way to a peace agreement with Ukraine is Russia's determination to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO. However, a former Russian official noted that the disagreements of the parties on this issue are not a reason why Putin will not negotiate for an agreement, because this coalition is not expected to accept Ukraine as a member in the near future.

On the other hand, several senior American officials said that they doubt that a senior Ukrainian politician would agree on an agreement that would result in the transfer of this amount of Ukrainian land to Russia.

Also, many of Ukraine's western allies are skeptical about the prospect of this ceasefire and believe that Putin is rearming his forces for future attacks.
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