Russian President Vladimir Putin had offered Ukraine a set of conditions in order to initiate a ceasefire and begin negotiations Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky’s aide, Mikhail Podolyak © Getty Images / Emin Sansar; Anadolu Agency

Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky’s aide Mikhail Podoliak has rejected a peace initiative put forward by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, suggesting it was not “realistic.” Putin has described his proposal as an attempt to end the conflict by initiating a ceasefire and launching bilateral negotiations.

During a meeting with the leadership of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Putin outlined the conditions that should be met in order to immediately halt hostilities and begin peace talks. These include a withdrawal of Ukrainian forces from Russia’s new territories, which should be internationally recognized, a promise by Kiev not to join NATO or seek to obtain nuclear weapons, and the lifting of sanctions on Russia.

Putin emphasized that Moscow is calling for “turning the tragic page of history and gradually restoring relations with Ukraine and Europe.” He warned, however, that if Kiev and the West refuse the proposal, they would be responsible for the continued bloodshed, while the situation on the battlefield will continue to change “not in favor of the Kiev regime.”

Responding to Putin’s suggestion, Podoliak wrote on X that the Russian president was offering “no real peace proposal” and showing “no desire to end the war.” The Ukrainian aide argued that Putin’s plan boiled down to Kiev giving up its territories and sovereignty and leaving itself “unprotected” by not joining NATO.

He went on to suggest that Moscow’s plan was a “complete sham” and dismissed it as “highly offensive to international law” and to “common sense,” claiming Russia would continue the conflict in “new formats” if Kiev accepts any of the points of the proposal.

Putin names conditions for Ukraine peace talks Putin names conditions for Ukraine peace talks

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Putin names conditions for Ukraine peace talks

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has also criticized Putin’s proposal, claiming that the request to withdraw Ukraine’s forces from Russia’s new territories was not an indication of good will but of Moscow’s desire to achieve its military goals and “occupy even more Ukrainian territory.”

Stoltenberg dismissed Putin’s proposal and vowed that NATO members will continue to strengthen their support of Ukraine as command posts in Germany and Eastern European countries will take part in coordinating arms supplies to the country.

Moscow has blasted the rejection of Putin’s proposal, with Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stating that Kiev and NATO’s refusal indicates their desire to “rob the Ukrainian people of a chance for peace.” (RT)