President Vladimir Putin is also prepared to fight on if Ukraine and the West
do not respond, according to sources.


Russia's President Vladimir Putin meets with students at Harbin Institute of
Technology in the northeastern city of Harbin on May 17, 2024. (Photo via AFP)
President Vladimir Putin of Russia is reportedly ready to declare a ceasefire
in Ukraine with a negotiation that recognizes the current battlefield
lines.Russian officials familiar with the matter told Reuters that Moscow “can
fight for as long as it takes, but Putin is also ready for a ceasefire - to
freeze the war.” The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said
freezing the conflict along current lines is a non-negotiable for the Russian
leader.  The officials also said that president Putin had expressed frustration
to a small group of advisers about what he views as Western-backed attempts to
stymie negotiations and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's decision to
rule out talks.  Zelensky has repeatedly ruled out the possibility of a
ceasefire. He signed a decree in 2022 that formally declared any talks with the
Russian leader "impossible.”

At the beginning of the year, the Ukrainian president once again said that any
pause in the war would "play into [Russia's] hands" and "might crush us
afterwards.” Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Reuters that president Putin
had repeatedly made clear Moscow was open to dialogue to achieve its goals,
saying the country did not want “eternal war.” Read More:One of the sources,
however, said that no agreement could happen while Zelensky was in power,
unless Russia bypassed him and struck a deal with Washington.  The US and its
Western allies have been providing huge military and financial support to Kiev
since the start of Russia's “special military operation” in eastern Ukraine in
early 2022.  Kiev is now preparing for talks hosted by Switzerland next month
aimed at unifying international opinion on how to end the war.  The talks were
convened at the initiative of Zelensky who has said president Putin should not
attend.  Ukraine and Switzerland want Russian allies including China to attend,
but Moscow has said the talks are not credible without it being there.

Press TV can also be accessed at: www.presstv.co.uk