Putin Says Ceasefire Impossible Until Reaching Firm Agreements With Ukraine

© Sputnik . POOL / Go to the mediabankRussian President Vladimir Putin during his approach to representatives of the Russian media following the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
Russian President Vladimir Putin during his approach to representatives of the Russian media following the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 05.07.2024
ASTANA (Sputnik) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia cannot agree to a ceasefire without reaching agreements that are irreversible for Kiev and acceptable for Moscow.
Moscow cannot allow a possible ceasefire to be used by the adversary to improve its military positions, the Russian president said.
"We simply cannot announce a ceasefire now in hopes that the other side will take some positive steps ... We need to ensure that the opposing side agrees to take steps that are irreversible and also are acceptable for Russia. Thus, a ceasefire without this agreement is not possible," Putin told a briefing following the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
The Russian president also recalled that the West had requested a ceasefire when the Russian troops were near Kiev in 2022, and Moscow agreed to it but was later "faced with deception."
In this matter, Russia believes it has a right to start the development and production of intermediate- and shorter-range missiles, Putin said.

"I, if you remember, said that in connection with the withdrawal of the United States from this [INF] treaty and the announcement that they are starting to launch production, we also consider ourselves entitled to start research and development and also production in the future," he told reporters.

Putin also said that Russia had to react to the US actions and was forced to develop new weapons.

"With respect to the deployment [of such missiles] … I said that we are declaring a moratorium on the possible future deployment of our respective systems until those missile systems are available in some regions of the world. And if US-made intermediate-range and shorter-range missile systems appear somewhere, we then reserve the right to act in a similar way," he noted.

Nevertheless, Russia is ready to discuss the issues of strategic stability with the United States, but it is necessary to wait for the new administration in Washington to understand their stance, Putin argued.
"We have to wait for the US elections and understand the mood and preferences of the future administration. We are ready for that," Putin told reporters, adding that Russia is ready for a "dialogue" with the US.
The Russian leader also said that it is "impossible" to talk about constructive dialogue before elections in the US.
The president also recalled that Russia has formulated its security proposals, adding that there should be "goodwill" from other countries as well.
Regarding the conflict in Ukraine, the Russian president underlined that it was pointless to try to engage with the Ukrainian parliament as long as it answered to a government that was clinging on to power illegally.

"The ruling elite ... because it is staying in power illegally, has not even sought the Constitutional Court's confirmation for its term," the president said, referring to the 2015 Supreme Court's ruling, which limited the presidential term to five years with no extensions.

Putin added that it was "possible to address the Rada, of course, but it would be pointless as long as the ruling elite in Ukraine holds on to power illegally, because the majority in the Rada is controlled by this so-called ruling elite."
Thus, ending the conflict between Russia and Ukraine via mediators is impossible, Putin emphasized.

"We have always been in favor of negotiations; you know it well; we have never given up on them. The question of finalizing the conflict with the help of mediators and only through them seems to me unlikely. First of all, because it is unlikely that a mediator will be empowered to sign final documents," Putin said.

Furthermore, Russia takes seriously Donald Trump's statement on being ready to stop the armed conflict in Ukraine, he said.

"What Mr. Trump is saying as a presidential candidate regarding him being ready and willing to stop the war in Ukraine, we are treating this quite seriously. I am not familiar, of course, with his possible proposals on how he is going to achieve that. And that is of course the key point. But I have no doubt that he is speaking sincerely," Putin noted.

The Russian president also added that he watched fragments of last week's presidential debate between US President Joe Biden and his Republican challenger, Donald Trump.

"Well, I saw some fragments. I have plenty of things to do, so I don't really keep tabs on what is happening there... In general, of course, I saw some of it, there was no avoiding it," he said.

Considering the SCO summit outcomes, the fact that all countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) oppose the placement of weapons in space sends a signal for the whole world regarding the militarization of outer space, the Russian leader said.
"We agreed in the declaration and say in other documents that all SCO countries oppose the placement of any weapons in space — this is after all a signal to the rest of the world about how we view the militarization of outer space," Putin told reporters.
In addition to other geopolitical topics, the issue of the creation of a unified parliament of the Union State of Russia and Belarus is a matter of time, Putin said.

"We also have intra-parliamentary structures and intergovernmental ones. Is it necessary now to move, as it was initially stated, to the creation of a unified parliament? It is a matter of time," he noted.

Creating a common currency in the Union State is also possible, but it is necessary to be ready for it, Putin added.
Regarding Afghanistan’s full membership in the SCO, Putin said that this issue concerns all SCO members and not just Russia.
Nevertheless, the Taliban* movement is Russia’s allies in the fight against terrorism, President Putin said.

"The Taliban movement has made certain commitments … but in general we have to assume that the Taliban control the power in the country. And in that sense, the Taliban are certainly allies for us in fight against terrorism," Putin told reporters, adding that Russia needs to "maintain relations" with real political structures in Afghanistan and will do so.

Russia has "received such signals" from the Taliban regarding their readiness to cooperate in the fight against terrorism many times, Putin added.
* under UN sanctions