Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly revealed in full the conditions that would need to be met for a ceasefire to be ordered in Ukraine.
The Russian president is said to have disclosed the list of six priorities during a Thursday phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, BBC News reported.
The demands come approximately three weeks after the launch of Putin’s “special military operation” in Ukraine, an unprovoked land invasion that drew swift condemnation and harsh economic retaliation from the entire Western world.
According to BBC News, the demands fall into two categories. The first category, which includes four demands, was reportedly presented as less difficult. Chief among the four is a commitment from Ukraine to remain neutral and not join NATO, something that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has already signaled an openness to.
In addition to a pledge of neutrality, Ukraine would then have to undergo a disarmament process to ensure it isn’t a threat to Russia. Of course, any disarmament would leave Ukraine open to future attacks from Russia.
Next, there would have to be protections for the Russian language in Ukraine, and the country would have to undergo what Putin has called the “de-Nazification.”
The demands were passed along to the news agency by Erdogan’s leading adviser and spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin.
The second category of demands, according to the BBC, is considered more difficult to satisfy. The outlet said Kalin was less specific on these points but noted they involved the status of Ukrainian territories in the eastern Donbas region.
It is “assumed” that Putin will require Ukraine to give up territory in the supposedly Russian-sympathetic region as well as formally recognize that Crimea, an area illegally annexed by Putin in 2014, is part of Russia.
BBC noted that Russia has no legal right to Crimea and even signed an international treaty after the fall of the USSR accepting that Crimea was part of Ukraine. Putin’s alleged demands appeared to fall in line with previous reporting on the matter.
Fox News reported that Putin’s list of demands comes as more and more reports continue to surface indicating that morale among Russian forces is waning. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. has indeed observed Russian forces stalling out in their advance but was careful to note that low morale was observed anecdotally and may not be indicative of the whole of the Russian military.
However, there continue to be concerns that Putin’s negotiating is nothing more than a head fake to distract Ukraine as Russian forces continue to move on the capital.