Moscow's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs recently unveiled seven demands that the Russian government insists must be met before it will agree to establish peace in Ukraine. Among these, the Russian authority notably insists that Ukraine recognizes Russian as an official state language, and halts any efforts to join NATO or the European Union.
In response to Russia's peace terms, the Ukrainian government set forth its own conditions, calling for the formation of a demilitarized buffer zone on Russian soil, the extradition of individuals involved in war crimes, and monetary compensation for the damage wrought by the conflict.
The Kremlin's Seven Peace Demands
Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin specified a series of requirements in Moscow's peace terms. These include an end to hostility by Ukrainian forces, a halt to weapons supply from Western allies, and an adjustment in Ukraine's stance towards the Russian-speaking citizens and national minorities.
The diplomat insisted that fulfilling these five requirements, along with the two others, would pave the path towards a "general, just, and lasting peace." Another stipulation demands that Ukraine recognizes "new territorial realities arising as a result of the right of nations to self-determination." This essentially implies that Ukraine should concede to the annexation of Crimea and other areas in the east and south of the country.
The final demand calls for respect for "fundamental human rights," which includes the freedom of religion, seemingly referencing Ukraine's stance against the Moscow-affiliated Orthodox Church. Notably, Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously claimed that Moscow is not opposed to Ukraine joining the EU, despite the current insistence on Ukraine abandoning this aspiration.
Furthermore, the demand for the establishment of Russian as a state language appears to be a new element in the Russian government's approach.
Ukrainian Response to the Kremlin's Conditions
The adviser to the head of the Ukrainian president's office, Mihailo Podolyak, criticized the Russian peace terms on Twitter, branding them as a manifestation of the "legal and factual incompetence of the Russian leadership." Podolyak subsequently outlined Ukraine's own conditions for peace, which extend far beyond the scope of the Kremlin's demands.
The Ukrainian conditions include the full withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory, recognition of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the sovereignty of its former republics, and the extradition of those responsible for orchestrating the war.
"Demands of #Russia" told through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the RF rather confirm the legal and factual incapacity of the Russian leadership. Therefore, only "the conditions of #Ukraine" are realistic...
Immediate withdrawal of all troops from the sovereign territory of… — Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) May 27, 2023
Ukraine also seeks the reduction of Russia's offensive weaponry, the organization of an international conference to oversee Russia's nuclear arsenal, and the voluntary surrender of Russian property seized in third-world countries in Ukraine's favor.
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