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Putin claims Istanbul peace plan draft still 'on table' for talks between Russia and Ukraine

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk July 4, 2024 5:26 PM 2 min read
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his press conference after Russian-Vietnamese talks, June 20, 2024, in Moscow, Russia. (Contributor/Getty Images)
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Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed on July 4 that the alleged peace plan proposal drafted during negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow in 2022 in Istanbul, could be the basis for a "settlement" of a Russia's full-scale war, the Kremlin-controlled TASS news agency wrote.

Russia and Ukraine held unsuccessful talks in Belarus and Turkey in the early months of the full-scale war, and no subsequent direct negotiations have been led since then.

"These agreements remain on the table and can be used as a basis for continuing negotiations," Putin said at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting in Kazakhstan.

The Wall Street Journal reported on the content of the unpublished 2022 peace terms already back in March, but the New York Times published in mid-June the 17-page draft in full, which it verified with participants in the talks.

According to it, both sides agreed to exclude Crimea from the treaty, leaving it under Russian occupation without Ukraine recognizing Russian sovereignty over it while the status of Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine was to be decided in later talks between presidents Volodymyr Zelensky and Putin.

Ukraine offered to abandon aspirations to join NATO or any other military alliance, but the treaty allowed Kyiv to enter the EU. Russia also demanded the lifting of all sanctions, repealing Kyiv's laws related to language and national identity, and limiting Ukraine's Armed Forces.

A day before the purported draft was published, Putin claimed that, as a condition for peace negotiations, Ukrainian troops must leave Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, which was rejected by Kyiv and its partners.

Ukraine repeatedly said the peace talks should be held on the basis of its 10-step peace formula, which includes a full withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. Moscow has rejected this proposal.

Kyiv is preparing for the second peace summit and aims to create a detailed action plan which will include steps related to "all the crises" caused by Russia's all-out war, Zelensky said.

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