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Negotiations needed to end war in Ukraine but Putin 'cannot be trusted,' says Mark Milley

by The Kyiv Independent news desk June 22, 2024 7:45 PM 2 min read
US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley speaks at a press briefing with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on March 15, 2023 at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
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Negotiations are needed to stop Moscow's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, but Russian President Vladimir Putin "cannot be trusted," Mark Milley, the former Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on June 21.

In a talk at Princeton University, Milley said that from a military perspective the war was now at a stalemate with Russia unable to achieve its original goals.

"It is unlikely that anyone will be able to achieve a political solution through military means," he said in the comments as reported by Voice of America.

"Therefore both sides should recognize this and achieve an alternative method to solve their political problem, and that would be negotiation."

Milley was not optimistic about this possibility, saying Russia is "clearly not ready to negotiate" and the decision to enter talks should be up to Kyiv, which has said it will only happen when the Kremlin withdraws all its troops from Ukraine.

"Neither side is ready to negotiate and they are going to keep banging away at each other militarily unless something strange, unanticipated or unexpected happens on that battlefield," he added.

Putin on June 14 said Moscow would only cease fire and enter peace talks if Ukraine withdraws from the four Ukrainian regions claimed – but not fully controlled – by the Kremlin.

Russia occupies most of Ukraine's Luhansk Oblast, and substantial parts of the country's Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts.

The demands also included the recognition of Crimea and Sevastopol as "subjects of the Russian Federation."

Putin's terms were immediately rejected by Kyiv which insists a full withdrawal of Russian troops from all Ukrainian territory is necessary for peace negotiations to begin.

Zelensky says Putin’s ultimatum on peace talks is a ‘revival of Nazism’
“What he’s doing is a revival of Nazism,” Zelensky said. ”...He wants us to renounce our occupied territories but he also wants our unoccupied territories. He... doesn’t intend to stop, and there will be no frozen conflict.”

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