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ISW: Russia blames Ukraine for lack of peace talks in order to win concessions from West

by Abbey Fenbert and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 4, 2024 7:20 AM 2 min read
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks to reporters at a press conference at the United Nations in April 2023.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks at a news conference at the United Nations headquarters on April 25, 2023, in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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Russia is waging a disinformation campaign regarding peace negotiations to win preemptive concessions from the West ahead of talks, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in its March 3 report.

"Russian officials continue to falsely blame Ukraine and the West for the lack of peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, despite numerous public Russian statements suggesting or explicitly stating that Russia is not interested in good faith peace negotiations with Ukraine," analysts said.

China and Turkey have both expressed interest in facilitating peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, and Russian officials are exploiting that interest to perpetuate their own narratives, the ISW said.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin met with China's special representative for Eurasian affairs, Li Hui, in Moscow on March 2. Both Russia and China agreed after the meeting that "the settlements will not be reached without Moscow's participation," according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the Antalya Diplomatic Forum in Turkey on March 1. Fidan on March 3 called for ceasefire discussions to begin, saying "it is time to start a dialogue."

Amid these calls for dialogue, Russian officials have claimed that Ukraine is at fault for delaying the peace process by refusing to talk to Russia.

Ukraine has repeatedly said that any peace talks should be held on the basis of its 10-point peace formula, which includes a full withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. Moscow has rejected this proposal.

A document obtained by the Wall Street Journal shows that Russia's proposed peace terms for Ukraine in 2022 would deny Ukraine NATO membership and shrink the country's military, leaving it permanently vulnerable to Russian aggression.

"ISW continues to assess that any Russian statements suggesting that Russia is or always has been interested in peace negotiations are very likely efforts to feign interest to prompt preemptive Western concessions regarding Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity and place the onus for negotiations on Ukraine and the West," analysts said.

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