Russia has expressed gratitude to China for its proposals on resolving the Ukraine conflict, but President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of rejecting constructive talks and seeking Russia’s defeat on the battlefield instead. In an interview with the state-run China Central Television (CCTV), Putin acknowledged China’s proposals as realistic and potential basis for peace agreements. However, he lamented that the opposing side was unwilling to engage in negotiations.
Since talks in Istanbul in March 2022, Moscow and Kiev have not been able to sit down at the negotiating table. Russia initially expressed optimism about the peace process but later accused Ukraine of backtracking on previous progress achieved in Turkey. Putin recalled how Ukraine discarded the agreements made in the preliminary memorandum as soon as Russian troops moved away from Kiev. He claimed that Ukraine announced its intention to seek Russia’s defeat and victory on the battlefield.
During the interview, Putin questioned the possibility of negotiations when the opposing side had issued a legal document prohibiting such talks. He reiterated that Russia was open for negotiations in the past and remains ready for them at present, but it is essential for Kiev to declare its readiness for negotiations.
Earlier this year, the Chinese Foreign Ministry released a 12-point peace roadmap that included measures such as a ceasefire, peace talks, abandoning a “Cold War mentality,” and ending sanctions to promote global stability and international supply chains. While Russia welcomed the roadmap, Ukraine and its Western backers did not view it favorably. They continue to advocate for their own “peace formula,” which demands that Russia unconditionally withdraw to its pre-2014 borders, pay reparations, and submit to war crimes tribunals.
Putin emphasized that the conflict stems from Russia’s legitimate security concerns over NATO expansion and Ukraine’s expected inclusion in the US-led military bloc. He pointed out that the situation escalated year after year, ultimately leading to hostilities in southeastern Ukraine and Donbas. Putin argued that Russia’s military operations were an attempt to stop the war, not the start of it.
The interview highlighted the ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, with both sides blaming each other for the conflict and refusing to engage in meaningful dialogue. While Russia appreciates China’s proposals for peace, it believes that Kiev is not willing to negotiate and is instead pursuing a military victory. The stalemate in negotiations prolongs the suffering and loss of life in Ukraine, making a resolution to the conflict seem distant.