- Kremlin says it insists on neutrality for Ukraine
- Russia “will finish” demilitarization of the country
- Wants Kyiv to recognize breakaway regions, loss of Crimea
Russia is demanding that Ukraine cease military action, change its constitution to enshrine neutrality, acknowledge Crimea as Russian territory, and recognize the separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk as independent territories, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
Peskov told Reuters that Russia had told Ukraine it was ready to halt its military action “in a moment” if Kyiv met its conditions.
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” in Ukraine, now in its 12th day.
Peskov said Ukraine was aware of the conditions. “And they were told that all this can be stopped in a moment.”
On the issue of neutrality, he said: “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.”
The Kremlin spokesman insisted Russia was not seeking to make any further territorial claims on Ukraine.
“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.
“They should make amendments to their constitution according to which Ukraine would reject any aims to enter any bloc. We have also spoken about how they should recognize that Crimea is Russian territory and that they need to recognise that Donetsk and Lugansk are independent states. And that’s it. It will stop in a moment,” Peskov told Reuters.
The outlining of Russia’s demands came as delegations from Russia and Ukraine prepared to meet on Monday for a third round of talks aimed at ending Russia’s war against Ukraine, an invasion launched on Feb. 24 that has caused the worst refugee crisis in Europe since World War Two and provoked outrage across the world.