Is There a Peace Deal Putin and Zelensky Can Accept?
In an interview with Reuters, Dmitry Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman for decades, made a startling offer. Moscow could end the Ukraine war immediately, said Peskov, if four conditions were met.
Ukraine should cease all military action, recognize Crimea as part of Russia, accept the independence of the Luhansk and Donetsk separatist enclaves, and enact a constitutional commitment to “neutrality,” which would prevent Ukraine from ever joining NATO.
Were this to be done, said Peskov, the war “will stop in a moment.”
As this would restore the situation in Ukraine to the “status quo ante” that existed before Putin ordered the invasion, Peskov’s offer seemed not to be believable.
Yet, according to The New York Times, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky “seemed surprisingly open to the idea.”
Zelensky “said he had ‘cooled down’ on joining NATO, saying it was clear the western alliance ‘is not prepared to accept Ukraine.’”
As for Luhansk, Donetsk and Crimea, said Zelensky, “We can discuss and find a compromise on how these territories will live on.”
Monday, Ukraine and Russia held a fourth session of peace talks, and expressions of optimism were heard from both sides.
Ukrainian negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak volunteered that Russia is beginning to talk constructively. “I think that we will achieve some results literally in a matter of days.”
Yet, Russia’s strategic goals, manifest in its unfolding military action, seem to go far beyond the moderate demands of Peskov.
Three weeks into this war, what do Russia’s goals appear to be?
First, besiege and bring down the Kyiv government of Zelensky and replace it with a Russian client regim
Article from LewRockwell