Expert reveals why Vladimir Putin’s ceasefire plea is a disaster waiting to happen

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun11,2024

Vladimir Putin announced his willingness to call a ceasefire on the eve of a much-anticipated two-day summit focused on peace in Ukraine.

But the conditions put forward by the Russian President to enter peace talks are “unacceptable” to war-torn Ukraine, according to a geopolitical analyst.

Commenting on Putin’s move, Kervin Aucoin, founder of private intelligence company Aucoin Analytic, told Express.co.uk: “Ukraine has consistently refused any negotiations that involve ceding territory to Russia, as this would mean giving up key regions, which is politically and nationally untenable.”

Explaining how accepting Putin’s terms would be disastrous for Kyiv, Mr Aucoin continued: “Abandoning plans to join NATO would severely compromise Ukraine’s long-term security and independence. NATO membership is a crucial objective for Ukraine, particularly in light of the ongoing threat from Russia.

Ukraine previously agreed to denuclearise under the assurance that Russia would respect its sovereignty, yet here we are two years into Russia‘s ‘Special Military Operation’. Honestly, Putin’s offer for negotiations is just a strategic move to relieve some pressures on Russia while testing the resolve of Ukraine and its Western allies.”

As noted by Mr Aucoin, Ukraine made the decision to completely denuclearise just a few years after the fall of the Berlin wall and the end of the Soviet Union, despite having at its disposal the third-largest nuclear arsenal in the world due to the arms left behind by the crumbling URSS. In exchange, the US, UK and Russia agreed in the 1994 Budapest Memorandum to guarantee Ukraine‘s security.

The two main conditions for a ceasefire outlined by Putin on Friday, as he spoke at the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry, included Ukraine renouncing its intention to join the Western military alliance and withdrawing its troops from the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions.

While Russian troops are partially occupying these regions, Putin’s demand would see Ukraine give up even areas that have never been controlled by Moscow during its two-year invasion.

Additional conditions for a ceasefire named by Putin were lifting sanctions against Russia and Ukraine maintaining its non-nuclear status.

The Russian leader, who ordered the unlawful invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, said he doesn’t see this proposal as a “temporary truce” but as a “final resolution”.

A similar offer at this time may reflect a “combination of pressure and perceived strength”, Mr Aucoin said.

He explained: “The economic impact of Western sanctions is significant. Russia‘s economy is under strain, which might be prompting a move to seek some form of relief.

“The ongoing conflict has also led to substantial military casualties and equipment losses. The strain on Russian military logistics and personnel might be a driving force behind seeking a temporary cessation of hostilities.”

Yet, he added, “Russia is still the more powerful military” and retains control over key areas in eastern Ukraine and Crimea – albeit Ukraine continuing to push against Russian troops on the eastern frontline and to strike sensitive targets on the occupied peninsula.

By putting out a ceasefire proposal now, Putin likely feels he has “leverage in negotiations”, particularly as it is feared Western support for Ukraine could wane in future months, the expert added.

This weekend, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and scores of world leaders will gather in Switzerland to try and map out the first steps towards peace in Ukraine.

But experts are dubious about the results these talks may produce given the absence of Russia, whose representatives were not invited, and China.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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