Open to Peace Talks: Putin Wants to Freeze the Front Lines

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.24 - 2024 2:31 PM CET

Vladimir Putin is reportedly open to ending hostilities in Ukraine if negotiations acknowledge the current front lines, according to Reuters.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has signaled a renewed openness to peace talks with Ukraine, a stance he has intermittently held over the past two years.

However, this latest indication comes with one condition: the current front lines must be preserved as a prerequisite for any negotiations.

This stance was reported by Reuters, citing information from four sources close to the situation.

Dissatisfaction with Stalemate

Three of the sources indicated that Putin is frustrated with what he perceives as the West's attempts to lead negotiations to a dead end, and with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's outright rejection of talks.

Putin is ready to persist with the conflict if Ukraine and Western nations disregard his conditions. "Putin can fight as long as necessary, but he is also ready for a ceasefire to freeze the war," said one source familiar with high-level Kremlin negotiations.

Two sources told Reuters that Putin believes the war's successes thus far are sufficient to be presented as a "victory" to the Russian public.

Three sources clarified that Putin is aware further military gains would require a second mobilization, which he prefers to avoid. Another source noted that Putin’s popularity has already declined since the mobilization in 2022.

Upcoming Peace Summit

On June 15-16, Switzerland will host a “peace summit” with delegations from 160 states, excluding Russia. Participants will discuss nuclear security, shipping safety, the return of Ukrainian children, and the exchange of "all for all."

The meeting will also address Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s “peace formula,” which includes a clause on the withdrawal of Russian troops to the 1991 borders.

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