Conflicts & War

Putin says Moscow demands must be met amid Christmas ceasefire calls

Moscow, Jan 5 (EFE).- Vladimir Putin reiterated Thursday he was open to dialogue with Ukraine but once again insisted that Kyiv would have to accept Moscow’s conditions, including “new territorial realities.”

President Putin’s latest remarks on the conflict were given during a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and come amid wider calls for a ceasefire to mark Christmas — which in Russia is celebrated on January 7.

Putin’s office, which published excerpts from the call, said peace talks would be conditioned on Ukraine recognizing Russian demands and Moscow’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions — Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson — as well as Crimea, annexed back in 2014.

Ukrainian officials have roundly rejected these conditions in the past and have called for ousting all Russian troops from Ukrainian territory, including Crimea.

The Kremlin has accused the West of stoking the conflict by supplying Kyiv with weaponry and assistance.

Head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill on Thursday called for a Christmas ceasefire to be observed between January 6 and 7 to allow the faithful to mark the occasion.

The proposal was shot down by Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior advisor to Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in a tweet, saying it was a “cynical trap” from an authority he accused of encouraging the “genocide” and “mass murder” of Ukrainians. EFE


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