Kremlin: The sooner Ukraine accepts our demands, sooner conflict can end

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  • This content was produced in Russia, where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine.

MOSCOW, Jan 19 (Reuters) – The Kremlin said on Thursday that the sooner Ukraine accepted Russia’s demands, the sooner the conflict there could end.

Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia would achieve its goals “one way or another” and Kyiv would be better off accepting Russia’s position and settling at the negotiating table.

Moscow has said it is fighting to “de-Nazify” Ukraine and protect Russian-speakers in the country’s east. Kyiv and the West reject these claims as a baseless pretext for a colonial-style land grab by Moscow.

“The sooner the Ukrainian regime shows its readiness to meet Russia’s demands – which will be achieved one way or another – the sooner everything will end, and the sooner Ukrainian people can begin to recover after this tragedy, which was started by the regime in Kyiv,” Peskov told reporters.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has outlined a 10-point peace plan for a settlement to the conflict, starting with the removal of Russian troops from occupied parts of Ukraine.

Russia has said it is open for negotiations, but has not publicly outlined details of its negotiating position or what it is seeking from Kyiv in order to end hostilities.

In Other Developments

* Ukraine pleaded on Thursday for the West to finally send it heavy tanks as the defence chiefs of the United States and Germany headed for a showdown over weapons that Kyiv says could decide the fate of the war.

DIPLOMACY

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met Germany’s new Defence Minister Boris Pistorius on Thursday to press Berlin to allow the transfer of German-made tanks to Ukraine, U.S. officials said, as the two allies remained at loggerheads over the issue.

* A U.S. official said the Biden administration was set to approve a new aid package to Ukraine, worth more than $2 billion, which would likely include Stryker armoured vehicles for Kyiv, but not M1 Abrams tanks.

* Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a video address to the World Economic Forum in Davos that Western supplies of tanks and air defence units should come more quickly and before Russia mounted fresh missile and armoured assaults.

* The Kremlin said that the sooner Ukraine accepted Russia’s demands, the sooner the conflict there could end.

* The Swedish government announced a new package of military aid to Ukraine that will include armoured infantry fighting vehicles and the Archer artillery system.

CONFLICT

* The Kremlin said Ukrainian strikes on Russian-annexed Crimea would be “extremely dangerous”, after the New York Times reported that U.S. officials were warming to the idea of helping Kyiv attack the peninsula.

* Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, an ally of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin, warned the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that the defeat of Russia in Ukraine could trigger a nuclear war.

* The founder of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group Yevgeny Prigozhin said his forces had taken the village of Klishchiivka, on the edge of the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, but said that Ukrainian forces could not be forced from Bakhmut swiftly.

Reuters could not verify battlefield reports.

Photo courtesy Ukraine MOD

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