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Reuters: Putin's suggestion of Ukraine ceasefire rejected by United States

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s suggestion of a ceasefire in Ukraine to freeze the war was rejected by the United States after contacts between intermediaries. Reuters reported, citing three Russian sources with knowledge of the discussions.

According to them, Putin sent signals to Washington in 2023 in public and privately through intermediaries, including through Moscow’s Arab partners in the Middle East and others, that he was ready to consider a ceasefire in Ukraine. Putin was proposing to freeze the conflict at the current lines and was unwilling to cede any of the Ukrainian territory controlled by Russia, but the signal offered what some in the Kremlin saw as the best path towards a peace of some kind.

According to three Russian sources, Putin’s signal was relayed to Washington, where top U.S. officials including White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Central Intelligence Agency Director Bill Burns and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met.

The idea was that Sullivan would speak to Putin’s foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov, and set out the next steps, one of the Russian sources said. But when the call came in January, Sullivan told Ushakov that Washington was willing to talk about other aspects of the relationship but would not speak about a ceasefire without Ukraine.

The Kremlin sees little point in further contacts with the United States on the issue, the Russian sources said, so the war would continue.

Mikhail Podolyak, an adviser to the head of Zelensky’s office, commented on the Reuters publication to Meduza, calling it «fiction and an element of Russia’s current propaganda campaign.»