Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Reuters on Monday that Russian military action would cease “in a moment” if Ukraine met several conditions: end resistance, give up intention to join NATO, amend its constitution to recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and to recognize the independence of the separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.
Russia’s conditions were announced ahead of the third round of Russian-Ukrainian talks, which are set to take place on Monday. Peskov said the conditions were brought to the attention of the Kyiv leadership.
According to Reuters, this is the most explicit expression so far of the terms that Moscow wants to impose on Ukrainians in order to end the so-called “special military operation” that began 12 days ago.
Regarding the neutrality of Ukraine, the spokesman for the Russian presidency stated that Ukraine “should bring amendments to the Constitution, according to which Ukraine will reject any goal of joining any bloc. This is only possible by amending the Constitution.”
Peskov insisted that Russia did not intend to come up with other territorial claims against Ukraine. “We are on the verge of ending the demilitarization of Ukraine. We’ll finish it. But the main thing is for Ukraine to cease military action. They have to stop the military action and then no one will shoot,” he said.
However, Bellingcat director Christo Grozev wrote on Twitter that two sources close to the Russia-Ukraine talks had told him that the Russian delegation had proposed that Zelensky remain Ukraine’s formidable president and that a Moscow man, Yuriy Boiko, be appointed prime minister.
Two persons close to the Russia-Ukraine negotiations (including back channel talks) tell me Russia proposed (1) Zelensky remains pro forma president but Russia appoints Boiko as PM, (2) Ukraine recognizes L/DNR and Crimea, (3) No NATO. Ze told them emphatically no.
— Christo Grozev (@christogrozev) March 7, 2022
Boiko is a Ukrainian politician who served as Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine from 2012 to 2014 and was Minister of Fuel and Energy of Ukraine from 2006 to 2007. He is currently considered one of the leading pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians.
Zelensky would have answered them with a very clear “no” to the claims.