Russia Says Military Action Will Stop ‘In a Moment’ If Ukraine Meets Certain Conditions
Russia Says Military Action Will Stop ‘In a Moment’ If Ukraine Meets Certain Conditions

By Zachary Stieber

Russia will immediately stop military action in Ukraine if certain conditions are met, including recognizing portions of eastern Ukraine as independent, a Kremlin spokesperson said March 7.

Ukraine must stop fighting, change its constitution to enshrine neutrality, acknowledge Crimea as Russian territory, and recognize the separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, known together as Donbas, as independent territories, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Ukrainian officials are aware of the demands and “were told all this can be stopped in a moment,” Peskov added.

Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. Top Russian officials have described the incursion as a “special military operation” aimed at rooting out “Nazis” and forcing Ukraine to disarm over alleged violations of earlier pacts. Ukrainian officials have condemned the invasion as unwarranted, and many Western countries have punished Russia with sanctions over the conflict.

Peskov said Russia will finish “the demilitarization of Ukraine” and that Ukraine should cease fighting.

In addition to altering the constitution to block entrance into any bloc, such as NATO, “we have also spoken about how they should recognize that Crimea is Russian territory and that they need to recognize that Donetsk and Lugansk are independent states,” Peskov added. “And that’s it. It will stop in a moment.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin conveyed the demands to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a call over the weekend, according to the Kremlin.

“It was stressed that the suspension of the special operation is possible only if Kyiv ceases the military actions and fulfills Russia’s demands that were made perfectly clear,” Russia reported, according to state-run media.

A Ukrainian man rides his bicycle near a factory and a store burning after it was bombarded in Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 6, 2022. (Emilio Morenatti/AP Photo)

Erdogan urged Putin on the call to agree to a ceasefire while a broader agreement is hammered out, his office said, while also stating he had been able to schedule a meeting in Antalya with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Ukrainian and Russian negotiating teams are scheduled to meet later on Monday.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, told reporters before that Zelensky “will certainly not make any concessions that could humiliate Ukrainians in their fight for territorial integrity and freedom.”

Negotiators have met twice since the war started but have failed to reach agreements on anything besides opening humanitarian corridors to allow the evacuation of people from places under attack.

That agreement was partially breached because Russians didn’t adhere to the parameters, according to Ukrainian officials.

A fresh slate of corridors announced Monday was decried by Ukrainian officials because the corridors led to Russia or Belarus.

Zelensky, meanwhile, called for the world to boycott Russian exports, especially oil.

“If the invasion continues and Russia doesn’t give up on its plans against Ukraine, it means that new sanctions, new steps against the war and for the peace are necessary,” he said in a speech.

Allen Zhong and Reuters contributed to this report.

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