Russia has issued a list of demands for Ukraine to follow if its invasion is to come to an end.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov gave Moscow’s most explicit statement so far of the terms it wants to impose on Ukraine to halt its “special military operation”, which is now in its 12th day.
Pesko said Ukraine must:
- Cease military action
- Change its constitution to enshrine neutrality
- Acknowledge Crimea as Russian territory
- Recognise the separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk as independent territories.
The outlining of Russia’s demands came as delegations from Russia and Ukraine prepared to meet on Monday for a third round of talks.
Peskov said that, if those conditions are met, Russia’s military action will halt “in a moment”.
He added: “They should make amendments to the constitution according to which Ukraine would reject any aims to enter any bloc. This is possible only by making changes to the constitution.”
He also insisted Russia was not seeking to make any further territorial claims on Ukraine.
Peskov said the Ukraine was aware of the conditions, adding that they were told “that all this can be stopped in a moment.”
“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.
“We have also spoken about how they should recognise that Crimea is Russian territory and that they need to recognize that Donetsk and Lugansk are independent states. And that’s it. It will stop in a moment.”
It is not yet clear how receptive the Ukrainian government will be to the demands.
By changing its constitution to enshrine neutrality, Ukraine would be unable to join Nato – a key move the Kremlin is keen to ensure.
Ukraine has been keen to join the EU, with leaders from the bloc meeting this week to discuss Zelenskyy’s bid to join this week.
The chairman of EU summits Charles Michel tweeted on Monday: “The EU’s solidarity, friendship and unprecedented assistance for Ukraine are unwavering. We will discuss Ukraine’s membership application in coming days.”
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