Vladimir Putin promises Ukraine ceasefire on two conditions as he issues fresh warning to the West

14 June 2024, 11:44 | Updated: 14 June 2024, 15:24

Putin has set out his demands for a ceasefire with Ukraine
Putin has set out his demands for a ceasefire with Ukraine. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

Vladimir Putin has promised a ceasefire in Ukraine if Kyiv withdraws troops from occupied regions and renounces plans to join Nato.

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The Russian president said he would be ready to start peace talks "tomorrow" if Ukraine agreed to take soldiers from the Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and gives up its plans to join NATO.

Those regions are parts of Ukraine that Russia claims as its own. Ukraine has vowed to liberate the regions from Russian occupation. Donetsk and Luhansk seceded from Ukraine in 2014.

Russia and Ukraine have been at war since spring 2022, when Kremlin forces invaded the neighbouring country. Ukraine has fought back with the help of Western countries, but there is no sign of an end to the war.

Read more: Ukraine launches air strikes within Russia using US weapons

Read more: Putin 'ready to halt war in Ukraine with negotiated ceasefire' that recognises current battlefield lines

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday. Picture: Alamy

Addressing the Russia foreign ministry, Mr Putin said: "Ukrainian forces must be completely withdrawn from Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts.

"It's important to note, from all territories of these regions within their administrative borders which existed upon their accession to Ukraine.

"As soon as Kyiv says they're ready for such a decision and start the real withdrawal of forces form these regions and officially declare rejection of plans to join NATO, from our side, immediately, literally the same minute, will come an order to stop the fire and start negotiations. "

"We will do it immediately. Obviously, we will guarantee the uninterrupted and safe withdrawal of Ukrainian forces."

Putin pledges ceasefire in Ukraine if Kyiv withdraws troops and drops Nato bid

Rishi Sunak with Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the G7 summit on Thursday
Rishi Sunak with Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the G7 summit on Thursday. Picture: Alamy

Mr Putin also warned that the West had come close to a "point of no return" in its policy towards Russia.

He said: "The selfishness and arrogance of Western states has led to the current extremely dangerous state of affairs."We have come unacceptably close to the point of no return.

"Calls to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia, which has the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons, demonstrate the extreme adventurism of Western politicians.

"They either do not understand the scale of the threat that they themselves create, or are simply obsessed with the belief in their own impunity and in their own exclusivity.

"Both of these can result in tragedy."

Rishi Sunak says G7 close to agreeing 'game-changing' support for Ukraine

Mr Putin said that he was open to working together with Western countries to create a "security system" that works for everyone on the Eurasian landmass.

"Obviously, we are witnessing the collapse of the Euro-Atlantic security system. Today it simply does not exist, it needs to be essentially created anew," he said.

"All this requires us, together with our partners, with all interested countries, and there are many of them, to work out our own options for ensuring security in Eurasia, proposing them then for wider international discussion."

He added: "It is important to proceed from the fact that the future security architecture is open to all Eurasian countries that wish to take part in its creation.

Foreign Office minister on Putin's 'aim' in Ukraine

"'To all' means European and NATO countries too, of course. We live on the same continent. No matter what happens, you cannot change geography. We will have to coexist and work together one way or another."

In recent weeks, Russia has been concentrating its forces on attacks in the north-eastern region of Kharkiv, close to the border.

Although Russia made swift incursions in the opening days of the attack, NATO officials said that its army was losing as many as 1,000 troops a day in May, advancing only around 10km, or six miles.

Mr Putin's comments as Rishi Sunak is set to reiterate Britain's support for Ukraine again, and announce a £242 million aid package.

The Prime Minister said ahead of the G7 summit: "We must be decisive and creative in our efforts to support Ukraine and end Putin's illegal war at this critical moment.

"The UK remains at the forefront of the international response as we have been from the outset. We must move from 'as long as it takes' to 'whatever it takes' if we are to end this illegal war.

"From Ukraine to the Middle East, we will be discussing significant global threats at the summit. Such threats are why it is so vital to strengthen the UK's national defence, through our commitment to spend 2.5% of GDP on defence by 2030."

The UK has committed nearly £12.7 billion in military, humanitarian and economic support to Ukraine.

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