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Russia Will Cease Fire If Ukraine Withdraws Troops From Four Regions, Says Putin

Putin says a ceasefire will take effect if Ukraine withdraws its troops from Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.

Speaking on Friday ahead of an international peace conference in Switzerland that excluded Russia, Vladimir Putin outlined conditions under which Russia would agree to a ceasefire and engage in peace negotiations with Ukraine, amid ongoing conflict in the region.

Putin specified that for a ceasefire to take effect, Ukraine must withdraw all its troops from Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions in eastern and southern Ukraine. “The conditions are very simple,” Putin said.

He emphasised that Russia would immediately reciprocate with a cessation of hostilities and ensure the safe withdrawal of Ukrainian military units from these areas.

“As soon as they declare in Kyiv that they are ready for such a decision and begin a real withdrawal of troops from these regions, and also officially announce the abandonment of their plans to join NATO – on our side, immediately, literally at the same minute, an order will follow to cease fire and begin negotiations,” he said.

“I repeat, we will do this immediately. Naturally, we will simultaneously guarantee the unhindered and safe withdrawal of Ukrainian units and formations.”

The conflict, now in its third year, has seen Russia control nearly a fifth of Ukrainian territory. Ukraine, however, insists that any lasting peace must include the complete withdrawal of Russian forces and the restoration of its territorial integrity.

The weekend summit in Switzerland, set to convene representatives from over 90 nations and organisations, is expected to address humanitarian issues such as food security and nuclear safety in Ukraine and shy away from territorial issues. Despite calls from the Kremlin that the summit would be “futile” without Russia’s participation, the event is scheduled to proceed without Russian representation.

Melissa Enoch

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