Turkey’s efforts to mediate the conflict between Russia and Ukraine seem to shed light on Vladimir Putin’s intentions.
This Thursday, the Russian president summoned the Turkish president. Recep Tayyip ErdoganAnd told him what they were Precise demands of Russia For a peace treaty with Ukraine.
This became clear in a BBC interview with Erdogan’s top adviser and spokesman, Ibrahim Colin, who was part of a small group of officials who heard the call. Russian demands are of two types.
According to Kalin, the first four demands were not too difficult for Ukraine.
The key is Ukraine’s acceptance Be neutral and do not try to join NATO. President of Ukraine Volodymyr ZhelenskyAlready agreed.
There are other demands in this category, which often appear to be elements that protect the face of Moscow.
Ukraine should carry one The disarmament process We need to make sure that this is not a threat to Russia. Russian language should be protected in Ukraine. And included in it “Denunciation” Putin talks about this.
It is deeply hurtful ZhelenskyWho lost relatives in the Jewish and Holocaust, but the Turkish side hopes that Zelensky will be much easier to accept.
It is enough for Ukraine to condemn all forms of neo-Nazism and promise to suppress them.
The hard part
The only difficulty is in the second type of request.
Putin said in his phone call that he wanted to Face-to-face negotiations Before we reach an agreement on these points with President Zhelensky.
The Ukrainian president has already said he is ready to meet with the Russian president and hold face-to-face talks.
Kalin mentioned very little of these issues.
He simply explained that they included “Crimea State” and “Donbass State”, areas in eastern Ukraine that had already seceded from the country and reaffirmed their Russian identity.
Although the foot does not speak in detail, it is considered Russia has demanded that the Ukrainian government relinquish territory In eastern Ukraine. That would be deeply controversial.
The other scenario is that Russia will demand that Ukraine formally accept it Crimea – Illegally annexed peninsula in 2014 – now owned by the Russian Federation. If so it would be a bitter pill for Ukraine.
However, despite the fact that Russia had no legal basis for owning Crimea, it signed an international agreement after the fall of the Soviet Union, before Vladimir Putin came to power and accepted the peninsula. Part of Ukraine.
Still, President Putin’s demands Not as hard as some people fear It seems that they have no value for all the violence, bloodshed and destruction that Russia has inflicted on Ukraine.
Given his tight grip on the Russian media, it should not be too difficult for him and his staff to show all of this as a huge success.
However, this could have serious consequences for Ukraine.
If the smallest details of any deal are not carefully worked out, President Putin or his heirs They can always be used as an excuse to invade Ukraine Again.
In the meantime, even if the ceasefire stops the bloodshed, it may take a long time to reach a peace agreement.
Ukraine has been badly affected in recent weeks, and Russia is rebuilding damaged and destroyed cities and towns. It will take a long time. And millions of refugees have been displaced from their homes.
And what about Vladimir Putin? There are opinions that he is unwell or mentally ill.
But Kalin says he did not find anything unusual in the phone call. As he put it, Putin was clear and concise in everything he said.
Even if he succeeds in presenting the treaty with Ukraine as a glorious victory against neo-Nazism, his position with the Russians will be weakened.
More and more people are realizing it He transgressed.
And the stories of soldiers killed or captured are spreading fast.
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