There can be no discussion about a withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine before the end of the year, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media on Tuesday. He stressed that in order to achieve peace it would be necessary to take into account the new realities, such as the accession of new regions to Russia.
“It is out of the question,” Peskov said when asked whether Russia was considering the possibility of starting the withdrawal of its troops from Ukraine before the end of this year.
“The Ukrainian side will have to take into account the realities that emerged lately,” Peskov said. “These realities are a product of the policy that the Ukrainian leadership and the current Ukrainian regime have conducted for the past 15 or even 20 years,” he stressed.
“These realities indicate Russia has new constituent territories. They appeared as a result of referendums that took place on these territories.” He pointed out that “without taking these new realities into account, any progress [towards a settlement] will be impossible.”
The Kremlin believes that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s proposals for “steps towards peace”, on the contrary, lead to further hostilities. “These are three steps towards further combat operations,” Peskov said in the wake of Zelensky’s statement who mentioned more weapons supplies to Kiev as one of the steps that would bring Ukraine closer to peace.