Russian President Vladimir Putin could use negotiations with Ukraine as a cover to rearm and recruit Russian troops, U.K. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said on Dec. 11.
Peace talks between Russia and Ukraine need to be “real” and “meaningful,” Cleverly told Sky News.
"They can just be a fig leaf for Russian rearmament and further recruitment of soldiers, whether that be from the Wagner Group or trawling prisons in Russia," Cleverly said.
The content of peace talks "has got to be decided by the Ukrainian people, the Ukrainian president," he added.
The Institute for the Study of War said on Dec. 2. that Russia would benefit from negotiations with Ukraine and Western countries that include a ceasefire, allowing it to prepare its military for further offensives against Ukraine.
The White House also said on Dec. 2 that “Putin has shown absolutely no inclination to be interested in dialogue of any kind.”
President Volodymyr Zelensky’s “peace formula” to end Russia's war envisages preventing ecocide in Ukraine, punishing those responsible for war crimes, withdrawing all Russian troops from the territory of Ukraine, restoration of Ukraine's territorial integrity, and the release of all prisoners of war and deportees. The proposals also call for ensuring energy security, food security, and nuclear safety.