Russian media: Türkiye drafting new peace plan for Ukraine war - M5 Dergi
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Russian media: Türkiye drafting new peace plan for Ukraine war

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Türkiye wants to end the Russia-Ukraine war with a new comprehensive peace plan, according to Russian media reports, ahead of a major conference planned in Switzerland this June

Türkiye is preparing a new peace plan that would freeze the war in Ukraine for more than a decade, according to reports published by Russian media Thursday.

The plan, which was launched with the support of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has already been submitted to Kyiv and Moscow, the pro-Kremlin newspaper Novaya Gazeta Europa reported, citing its own sources.

The most important points of the document are as follows: The United States and Russia pledge not to use nuclear weapons under any circumstances and to return to the New START nuclear disarmament treaty; the conflict in Ukraine will be frozen on the current front line; and in 2040, Ukraine will decide on its future foreign policy course in a referendum, but until then, it will not join NATO.

At the same time, referendums will also be held under international control in the territories occupied by Russia, the plan adds; the warring parties will exchange all prisoners with each other, and Russia will not oppose Ukraine’s accession to the EU, it stated.

A major peace conference is planned in Switzerland in June.

According to the newspaper, the Turkish initiative is unlikely to be accepted. For example, the plan differs significantly from the demands of Kyiv, which insists on the withdrawal of all Russian troops from its territory.

Moscow, which already occupies around a fifth of the neighboring country, has also recently made further territorial demands of Ukraine after improving its own situation on the front.

Türkiye has positioned itself as an intermediary in the Russia-Ukraine conflict and Erdoğan was a key player in brokering the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

Shortly after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Türkiye hosted a meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers as well as unsuccessful talks between negotiators from the two countries aimed at ending the hostilities.

Ukraine has been defending itself against a full-scale Russian invasion for more than two years. For its campaign, Kyiv has received massive international support, mostly from Western allies, in the form of weapons deliveries, humanitarian aid and sanctions against Russia.

Türkiye was a key player in the now-on-hold deal that allowed for the safe passage of Ukrainian grain shipments via the Black Sea despite the blockade of its ports after Moscow launched its invasion in late February 2022.

The accord, brokered by Ankara and the United Nations in July 2022, ended after Moscow refused to renew it. Ankara has ramped up efforts to try to revive the initiative.

Moscow withdrew from the accord on July 17, accusing the West of hampering its grain and fertilizer exports. It has since attacked Ukrainian agricultural and port infrastructure. Moscow has said that it was ready to return to the deal once an accompanying agreement concerning Russia was implemented.

Hopes of reviving the deal, however, have since dimmed, as Russian demands are unlikely to be met any time soon and Ukraine remains firmly opposed to any advantage for Russia. Kyiv has been working new export routes along the coasts of Bulgaria and Romania since July 2023, shipping about 20 million tons of grain to 42 countries despite Russian attacks on its ports and storage facilities.

Ankara also helped arrange the exchange of some 200 prisoners in September 2022 and has since sent its human rights body to inspect war zones in both countries, to meet with displaced residents, prisoners and their families and probe grounds for a fresh swap deal.

Erdoğan holds frequent talks with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, as well as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who was in Istanbul for talks last month and gave Erdoğan a list of Ukrainian prisoners held by Russia, especially composed of Crimean Tatars.

The two leaders discussed Zelenskyy’s peace formula, which includes the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine, and the release of all prisoners of war and deportees.

Zelenskyy’s formula will be tackled at the first peace summit due to be held in Switzerland mid-June, to which Russia is not invited.

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