Ukrainian journalist skeptical of Putin’s peace talk readiness

"Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s alleged openness to peace talks is a planned psychological operation," Ukrainian journalist Vitaliy Portnikov stated on Radio Svoboda on May 25.

This skepticism arises amid conflicting signals from the Kremlin following a Reuters report that cited sources close to Putin suggesting his readiness for negotiations.

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"I do not trust any sources close to Vladimir Putin," Portnikov emphasized, doubting the Kremlin's openness compared to Western administrations. "No Kremlin official would speak to a foreign correspondent without direct orders," he added, hinting that recent communications were likely orchestrated ahead of Putin's visit to Minsk and his vague statements on negotiations.

According to Portnikov, both Putin and his press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, indicate that any talks would demand Ukraine's capitulation. Moreover, Peskov's remarks about achieving the goals of Russia's 'special operation' suggest ulterior motives, including Ukraine’s recognition of Russian territorial claims and its demilitarization.

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Portnikov also highlighted Putin's efforts to undermine the legitimacy of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, especially around the Peace Summit in Switzerland. "Putin is not just participating; he’s actively trying to dissuade leaders from the Global South from attending, undermining the summit's purpose and the Ukrainian president’s legitimacy," he explained.

While Putin fosters discord, international reactions evolve. During his Minsk visit, coinciding discussions between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Brazil’s chief presidential adviser Celso Amorim led to endorsements of China’s proposals to 'freeze' the conflict, aligning Brazilian support with Putin’s strategies.

"Putin isn’t crafting peace proposals; he’s orchestrating chaos to prolong the war," Portnikov concluded.

Published with permission from Radio Svoboda/Radio Free Europe, 2101 Connecticut Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20036, USA.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine