Russia says military action will stop immediately if Ukraine agrees to four conditions

·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK
·5-min read
The Kremlin has laid out its demands for the war in Ukraine to end (Getty)
The Kremlin has laid out its demands for the war in Ukraine to end (Getty)

Russia has issued a list of demands for Ukraine to follow if its invasion is to come to an end.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov gave Moscow's most explicit statement so far of the terms it wants to impose on Ukraine to halt its "special military operation", which is now in its 12th day.

Pesko said Ukraine must:

  • Cease military action

  • Change its constitution to enshrine neutrality

  • Acknowledge Crimea as Russian territory

  • Recognise the separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk as independent territories.

The outlining of Russia’s demands came as delegations from Russia and Ukraine prepared to meet on Monday for a third round of talks.

Peskov said that, if those conditions are met, Russia's military action will halt "in a moment".

He added: "They should make amendments to the constitution according to which Ukraine would reject any aims to enter any bloc. This is possible only by making changes to the constitution."

Evacuees cross a destroyed bridge as they flee the city of Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, on March 7, 2022. - Ukraine dismissed Moscow's offer to set up humanitarian corridors from several bombarded cities on Monday after it emerged some routes would lead refugees into Russia or Belarus. The Russian proposal of safe passage from Kharkiv, Kyiv, Mariupol and Sumy had come after terrified Ukrainian civilians came under fire in previous ceasefire attempts. (Photo by Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP) (Photo by DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Evacuees cross a destroyed bridge as they flee the city of Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, on Monday (Getty)
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov outlined the four criteria which it said would lead to Russia halting its military action. (Reuters)
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov outlined the four criteria which it said would lead to Russia halting its military action. (Reuters)

He also insisted Russia was not seeking to make any further territorial claims on Ukraine.

Peskov said the Ukraine was aware of the conditions, adding that they were told "that all this can be stopped in a moment."

"We really are finishing the demilitarisation of Ukraine. We will finish it. But the main thing is that Ukraine ceases its military action. They should stop their military action and then no one will shoot," he said.

"We have also spoken about how they should recognise that Crimea is Russian territory and that they need to recognize that Donetsk and Lugansk are independent states. And that’s it. It will stop in a moment."

It is not yet clear how receptive the Ukrainian government will be to the demands.

Russian invasion of Ukraine - the situation as of March 6. (PA)
Russian invasion of Ukraine - the situation as of March 6. (PA)

By changing its constitution to enshrine neutrality, Ukraine would be unable to join Nato - a key move the Kremlin is keen to ensure.

Ukraine has been keen to join the EU, with leaders from the bloc meeting this week to discuss Zelenskyy's bid to join this week.

The chairman of EU summits Charles Michel tweeted on Monday: "The EU's solidarity, friendship and unprecedented assistance for Ukraine are unwavering. We will discuss Ukraine's membership application in coming days."

Watch: Zelenskyy calls for harsher Russian sanctions

Vladimir Putin reportedly thought his invasion would take a matter of days, but was met with a strong resistance from Ukrainian Armed Forces and civilians.

Boris Johnson said on Monday that Russia's invasion breaches Ukrainian sovereignty.

The prime minister said Putin's recognition of the independence of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine is "a repudiation of the Minsk process and the Minsk agreements."

Speaking at Downing Street, Johnson said the UK "will continue to do everything we can to stand by the people of Ukraine with a very robust package of sanctions."

"They will be triggered with the first toecap of a Russian incursion or Russian invasion. But plainly what has happened is extremely bad news.

Refugees: Where Ukrainians are seeking safety. (PA)
Refugees: Where Ukrainians are seeking safety. (PA)

"We will be urgently talking to our friends and allies around the world, all of whom are jointly signed up with us in this package of sanctions."

On Wednesday, Russia admitted for the first time admitted it had suffered heavy losses, saying in a statement 498 of its troops had died. The UK has the death toll will be “considerably higher” than figures released by the Kremlin.

The United Nations has opposed any Russian claim to Donetsk and Lugansk and it has also condemned the annexation of Crime by Moscow in 2014.

Russia has increasingly been seen by the international community as a "global pariah" following the invasion on 24 February.

Read more: Russia to open humanitarian corridors in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities

Evacuees cross a destroyed bridge as they flee the city of Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, on March 7, 2022. - Ukraine dismissed Moscow's offer to set up humanitarian corridors from several bombarded cities on March 7, 2022, after it emerged some routes would lead refugees into Russia or Belarus. The Russian proposal of safe passage from Kharkiv, Kyiv, Mariupol and Sumy had come after terrified Ukrainian civilians came under fire in previous ceasefire attempts. (Photo by Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP) (Photo by DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Putin's invasion has triggered the worst refugee crisis since World War Two, displacing around 1.5 million people. (Getty)
IRPIN, UKRAINE -- MARCH 6, 2022: Local residents arrive evacuation busses after their town was bombarded with Russian artillery fire in Irpin, Ukraine, Sunday, March 6, 2022. (MARCUS YAM / LOS ANGELES TIMES)
An emergency UN general assembly voted overwhelmingly for a resolution deploring Russia's invasion of Ukraine (Getty)

An emergency UN general assembly voted overwhelmingly for a resolution deploring Russia's invasion of Ukraine and called for the immediate withdrawal of its forces, with longstanding allies Cuba and Venezuela joining China in abstaining.

The only countries to vote no in support of Moscow were Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea and Syria.

The outlining of Russia's demands came as delegations from Russia and Ukraine prepared to meet on Monday for a third round of talks aimed at ending Russia’s war against Ukraine.

It began soon after Putin recognized two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian government forces since 2014, as independent - an action denounced as illegal by the West.

KYIV,UKRAINE - MARCH 3:  [FRANCE OUT] IMAGES EMBARGOED FROM USAGE IN FRANCE FOR 30 DAYS FROM CAPTURE DATE) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky  looks on at a press conference for selected media at his official residence the Maryinsky Palace on March 3,2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Photo by Laurent Van der Stockt for Le Monde/Getty Images)
Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy has refused to give into Russias demands in the past (Getty)

Putin's invasion has triggered the worst refugee crisis since World War Two, displacing around 1.5 million people.

Ukrainian cities have come under almost constant bombardments, with Ukrainian officials estimating that over 2,000 civilians - including children - have been killed in the violence.

Russia agreed to a ceasefire over the weekend so people could be evacuated from their homes.

Attempts at an evacuation in Mariupol were stopped on Sunday after men, women, and children were targeted with shells as they tried to flee.

International attention has focused on Irpin, a Kyiv suburb where residents have been scrambling across a river to flee Russian bombardment.

Eight people were killed - including two children from the same family - Ukrainian authorities said, after Russian shells hit a damaged bridge they were attempting to cross.