In a significant revelation, David Arakhamia, the head of President Zelensky’s parliamentary faction and chief negotiator at the Istanbul peace talks, disclosed that the Ukraine conflict could have been resolved in spring 2022.
Speaking to the 1+1 TV channel, Arakhamia, who leads the ‘Servant of the People’ parliamentary group, admitted that Russia was prepared to cease hostilities if Ukraine agreed to a state of neutrality, akin to Finland's stance, and committed to not joining NATO.
According to 1lurer.am, Arakhamia highlighted that accepting Russia's terms would have necessitated amending Ukraine's constitution, which currently envisions NATO membership. He also expressed a lack of trust in Russia's commitment to uphold such an agreement without solid security guarantees.
The peace talks took an unexpected turn with the arrival of then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Kyiv. Johnson advised Ukrainian officials against signing any agreements with Moscow and encouraged them to continue fighting.
This intervention by Johnson, later revealed by Ukrayinska Pravda in May 2022, played a crucial role in derailing the peace negotiations. Neither Johnson, who later joined an American think tank, nor the US government, have officially acknowledged their role in influencing Ukraine's decision.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a meeting with African leaders, disclosed that a draft agreement on Ukraine's permanent neutrality and security guarantees was signed during the Türkiye-hosted talks.
However, following Russia's withdrawal of troops near Kyiv as a goodwill gesture, Ukraine withdrew from the agreement. This withdrawal was portrayed by Western governments and media as a Ukrainian military victory, leading to increased Western military support to Zelensky's government and prolonging the conflict.