Putin wants Ukraine ceasefire on current frontlines
    Exclusive by Reuters

    REGION  24 May 2024 - 15:29

    Russian President Vladimir Putin is ready to stop the war in Ukraine with a negotiated ceasefire that recognises the current battlefield lines, Reuters reported on May 24 citing four Russian sources.

    According to three sources, said to be familiar with discussions in Putin's entourage, the Russian president had expressed frustration to a small group of advisers about what he views as Western-backed attempts to stymie talks and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy ruling out negotiations with the Kremlin.

    "Putin can fight for as long as it takes, but Putin is also ready for a ceasefire – to freeze the war," a senior Russian source told Reuters.

    The Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov responded that Putin had repeatedly made clear Russia was open to dialogue to achieve its goals, saying the country did not seek "eternal war."

    The report coincides with last week's appointment of economist Andrei Belousov as Russia's defence minister. The step is viewed by some Western military and political analysts "as placing the Russian economy on a permanent war footing to win a protracted conflict," noted Reuters.

    Meanwhile, Russia continues noticeable advancements in its offensive in eastern Ukraine. However, "the sources said that Putin, re-elected in March for a new six-year term, would rather use Russia's current momentum to put the war behind him. They did not directly comment on the new defence minister."

    According to two sources, Putin is of the view that "gains in the war so far were enough to sell a victory to the Russian people."

    As of now, the prospect of a ceasefire appear to be remote. Ukraine's Zelenskyy has repeatedly said peace on Putin's terms is a non-starter and has vowed to retake lost territory, including Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.

    Caliber.Az

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