Kremlin outlines criteria for new Ukraine peace summit

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Moscow is open to dialogue with Kiev but needs to know exactly what would be on the agenda, spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said

There must be an understanding about what the exact agenda of a new Ukraine peace summit would be in order for Russia to participate, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. 

The first international summit on the Ukraine crisis was held in Burgenstock, Switzerland last month. Over 90 countries participated in the event, but Russia did not receive an invitation while some others, including China, refused to attend, arguing that Moscow needed to be part of the process.  

The meeting focused on three points of Vladimir Zelensky’s so-called ‘peace formula’. A joint declaration was made at the end of the summit, although many of the attendees refused to sign it and some even withdrew their signatures shortly after the event. Nevertheless, Zelensky hailed the summit a success and suggested that a representative from Moscow could be allowed to attend the second round of talks later this year.  

During a press briefing on Thursday, Peskov stressed that Russia remains open to dialogue with Ukraine but noted that it must first understand what would be discussed during this second peace summit. 

“From the very beginning, we said that NATO expansion into the territory of Ukraine is unacceptable for us, an unacceptable threat to our existence, to our security,” Peskov said.  

The Kremlin spokesman emphasized that Russia will not discuss any specific details that are detached from the overall question of national security.  

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“[President Vladimir] Putin has already explained that we are ready and willing to discuss the situation as a whole, all aspects related to security on the continent, the security of our side, and with security guarantees for other nations. All of this should be discussed at the same time,” Peskov said.  

Moscow has repeatedly stressed that it would not participate in any international peace summits based on Zelensky’s ‘peace formula’, which it has dismissed as detached from reality. Zelensky’s plan includes demands such as a full Russian withdrawal from all territories Kiev claims as its own, reparation payments, and a war crime tribunal for Russia’s leadership.  

Instead, Putin has set out his own set of terms for initiating a ceasefire and launching peace negotiations with Kiev. These include a full withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from all Russian territories, including the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, and the regions of Kherson and Zaporozhye, as well as a legal commitment from Kiev never to join NATO.

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