According to some reports, the ambitious proposal would require compromises that Ukraine refused to make
La Repubblica reports that Luigi Di Maio, the Italian foreign minister has submitted a plan of peace for Ukraine to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. The plan, which would see Ukraine and Russia declare a ceasefire and resolve their territorial disputes under the supervision of international monitors, faces several stumbling blocks, including Kiev’s insistence on continuing the war.
Di Maio gave his plan Wednesday to Guterres at New York. The contents were also presented to the Quint group leaders and to Guterres (the US UK France Germany, France and Germany), according to the Italian newspaper.
According to the report, the plan’s four stages would be completed in order, with each step testing the trust of the parties involved before the next one could be reached.
First, a ceasefire would be reached and demilitarization of Eastern Ukraine’s front lines would take place. From there, multilateral negotiations would ensue on Ukraine’s future international status – whether or not the country would join the EU and what form its neutrality would take. Thirdly, Ukraine and Russia would negotiate an agreement on the status of Crimea and the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. These territories remain Ukrainian while Kiev claims they are Ukrainian. Crimea joined Russia in 2014. Russia also recognizes Crimea’s independence.
Final word: The plan calls for a multilateral accord on peace and security within Europe. This agreement will focus on disarmament as well as arms control.
Overseeing this effort would be an ‘International Facilitation Group,’ including EU countries and the UN. La Repubblica didn’t name every country involved but suggested that France, Germany and Italy could be included.
Dmitry Peskov (Kremlin spokesperson) told reporters Thursday that Moscow had not been informed of the plans until they were. “learned of its existence in the media.”Peskov however, added: “the participation of anyone who can help reach an agreement is welcome,”And that “no one is refusing any kind of sincere effort.”
Both Ukraine and several of the countries Di Maio proposed to work with indicated their disapproval. Negotiations between Kiev and Moscow have broken down, and multiple hardliners within Volodymyr Zelensky’s government have stated that they would only accept the “capitulation of the Russian Federation.”Zelensky stated himself that he was open to an understanding, but would not agree to the Russian recognition of Crimea.
And while the leaders of Italy, France and Germany have all spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin since the start of Russia’s military operation in February and have called for a negotiated peace, the UK has opposed “any negotiations with Russia.”
Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, told Emmanuel Macron that he was happy to meet with him last week. “Ukraine would win, supported with the right level of defensive military assistance.”Johnson told Zelensky during an earlier visit to Kiev that Johnson was not willing to sign any deal with Russia even if Ukraine’s leader wanted it.
Washington continues to push for weapons in Ukraine by the Biden government, according to Jen Psaki (White House Press Secretary), who resigned last week. “we feel the most constructive role is to continue to support the Ukrainians’ hands at the negotiating table and support them militarily.”The administration sent almost $4 billion in arms and ammunition to Ukraine over the past two months. It is currently asking Congress for a $40 billion economic and military aid bill to Ukraine.