March 1, 2024

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Putin Shares Demands for Ending War

Putin shares demands to end the war

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow will not end its war against Kiev until his country achieves “denazification,” “demilitarization” and neutrality in Ukraine.

Speaking at his annual end-of-year press conference in Moscow on Thursday, the Kremlin leader said Russia would not budge on its demands, vowing to end its offensive in Ukraine only if its goals are achieved or if Kiev accepts a deal that achieves them.

“Peace will come when we achieve the goals I mentioned,” Putin said while responding to questions from the Russian media and the public. He added, “Returning to the goals, they have not changed. I will remind you that this means de-Nazification, disarmament of Ukraine and its neutral status.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks Thursday during his annual joint press conference in Moscow. Putin listed his demands that Ukraine must be met to end the war.
Contributor/Getty Images

Bloomberg TV posted a translation of Putin’s comments on YouTube.

Thursday’s event was the first time Putin received feedback from the public since launching his invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. It also comes less than a week after he announced his re-election campaign, before Russian voters head to the polls in March.

According to a Reuters report, Putin added during the conference that if Ukraine does not want to reach an agreement to meet his demands, such as demilitarizing Ukraine, “well, then we are forced to take other measures, including military ones.”

“Either we reach an agreement and agree on certain standards…or we resolve this matter by force,” Putin said. “This is what we will strive for.”

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Newsweek I reached out to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry on Thursday via email for comment.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said negotiations with Moscow cannot be discussed until all territory occupied by Russia is returned to Kiev’s control. Ukraine’s leaders have also repeatedly denied Putin’s accusations that the country is run by a Nazi regime.

Shortly after it began its invasion, Russia offered to end the fighting in Ukraine if Kiev agreed to abandon its goal of joining NATO, according to Kiev officials familiar with the talks. Putin had previously blamed Western support for the Ukrainian army for escalating the nearly 22-month-old war, and on Thursday he blamed the West’s influence over the Kiev government for forcing Russia into the war.

He added: “The overwhelming desire to advance towards our borders and include Ukraine in NATO, all of this led to this tragedy.” Putin also pressed the United States to seek a peaceful end to the war rather than rely on “sanctions and military intervention.”

Newsweek It also reached out to the US State Department on Thursday via email for comment.

US President Joe Biden stressed during Zelensky’s visit to Washington, DC, this week that he “will not turn away from Ukraine, and neither will the American people.”

The Democratic president also put pressure on Republican lawmakers who blocked Biden’s request for additional funding for Ukraine. Republican members of Congress are seeking an agreement that would also boost funding for US border control and immigration policies.

“Holding Ukraine’s funding hostage in an attempt to impose an extremist Republican partisan agenda on the border is not how it works,” Biden said during his meeting with Zelensky at the White House. “We need real solutions.”