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Putin dismisses peace talks 'just because (Ukraine) is running out of ammunition'

by Martin Fornusek March 13, 2024 4:56 PM 2 min read
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on economic issues via a video link at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow on April 11, 2023. (Gavriil Grigorov/ Sputnik / AFP via Getty Images)
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Russian dictator Vladimir Putin dismissed the idea of starting negotiations with Ukraine just because its ammunition stocks are dwindling, calling the notion "ridiculous."

Kyiv faces increasingly critical ammunition shortages as $60 billion in support from the U.S., a key military donor, remains stalled by disputes in Congress.

Many critics of Western support for Ukraine have claimed that providing arms to Kyiv "unnecessarily prolongs the war," alleging that peace would come faster if the weapons stopped flowing. Ukrainian officials have dismissed this idea, arguing that such a step would only hasten Russian occupation of the country.

Speaking in an interview with Russian state-controlled news agency RIA Novosti and Russia-1 TV channel published on March 13, Putin said that Moscow is ready to negotiate only "based on the reality on the ground."

The Russian leader accused Kyiv and its Western partners of repeatedly "breaking promises" allegedly made to Russia in the past, adding that "to start negotiating just because they (Ukraine) are running out of ammunition would be ridiculous."

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Ukraine finds itself in an increasingly precarious position due to delays in U.S. aid and as Russia ramps up pressure along the front. Russian forces made progress in the east last month, capturing the key front-line city of Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast.

"We are, however, ready for a serious conversation... not about a pause that the enemy wants to take to rearm, but a serious conversation with security guarantees for Russia," Putin said in the interview. He did not specify what these "guarantees" should include.

The Russian leader has repeatedly said that the goals of the full-scale invasion, namely the so-called "demilitarization" and "de-Nazification" of Ukraine, have not changed.

A document from unsuccessful peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv in 2022, seen by the Wall Street Journal, indicates that Russian peace terms include severe restrictions on Ukraine's Armed Forces and a ban on joining military blocs like NATO. This would make the country permanently vulnerable to Russian aggression.

Ukraine has 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.

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