Russia has told Ukraine it is ready to halt military operations “in a moment” if Kyiv meets a list of conditions, the Kremlin spokesman said on Monday.
Dmitry Peskov said Moscow was demanding that Ukraine cease military action, change its constitution to enshrine neutrality, acknowledge Crimea as Russian territory, and recognise the separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk as independent states.
It was the most explicit Russian statement so far of the terms it wants to impose on Ukraine to halt what it calls its “special military operation”, now in its 12th day.
Peskov told Reuters in a telephone interview that Ukraine was aware of the conditions. “And they were told that all this can be stopped in a moment.”
There was no immediate reaction from the Ukrainian side.
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Russia has attacked Ukraine from the north, east and south, pounding cities including Kyiv, Kharkiv and the port of Mariupol. The invasion launched on February 24, has caused the worst refugee crisis in Europe since World War Two, provoked outrage across the world, and led to heavy sanctions on Moscow.
But the Kremlin spokesman insisted Russia was not seeking to make any further territorial claims on Ukraine and said it was “not true” that it was demanding Kyiv be handed over.
“We really are finishing the demilitarisation of Ukraine. We will finish it. But the main thing is that Ukraine ceases its military action. They should stop their military action and then no one will shoot,” he said.
On the issue of neutrality, Peskov said: “They should make amendments to the constitution according to which Ukraine would reject any aims to enter any bloc.”