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Moscow ready to declare ceasefire in Ukraine on current frontlines: Report

Russia's President Vladimir Putin meets with students at Harbin Institute of Technology in the northeastern city of Harbin on May 17, 2024. (Photo via AFP)

President Vladimir Putin of Russia is reportedly ready to declare a ceasefire in Ukraine with a negotiation that recognizes the current battlefield lines.

Russian officials familiar with the matter told Reuters that Moscow “can fight for as long as it takes, but Putin is also ready for a ceasefire - to freeze the war.”

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said freezing the conflict along current lines is a non-negotiable for the Russian leader.

The officials also said that president Putin had expressed frustration to a small group of advisers about what he views as Western-backed attempts to stymie negotiations and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's decision to rule out talks.

Zelensky has repeatedly ruled out the possibility of a ceasefire. He signed a decree in 2022 that formally declared any talks with the Russian leader "impossible.”

At the beginning of the year, the Ukrainian president once again said that any pause in the war would "play into [Russia's] hands" and "might crush us afterwards.”

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Reuters that president Putin had repeatedly made clear Moscow was open to dialogue to achieve its goals, saying the country did not want “eternal war.”

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One of the sources, however, said that no agreement could happen while Zelensky was in power, unless Russia bypassed him and struck a deal with Washington.

The US and its Western allies have been providing huge military and financial support to Kiev since the start of Russia's “special military operation” in eastern Ukraine in early 2022.

Kiev is now preparing for talks hosted by Switzerland next month aimed at unifying international opinion on how to end the war.

The talks were convened at the initiative of Zelensky who has said president Putin should not attend.

Ukraine and Switzerland want Russian allies including China to attend, but Moscow has said the talks are not credible without it being there.

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