Vladimir Putin: We realize that the current head of Ukrainian state is no longer legitimate

13:55 25.05.2024 •

Photo: Kremlin.ru

During a news conference that following Russian-Belarusian talks Vladimir Putin answered a media question concerning present situation in Ukraine.


Question: In view of Vladimir Zelensky’s expired presidential term, what are the prospects for resuming peace talks with Ukraine? The key question here is who to talk with even if such a request comes from the Ukrainian side?

The second part of my question: Do you see any real forces in Ukraine, political or military, that are really capable of being clear-eyed about the current situation, reaching tradeoff solutions and, most importantly, that are able to reach and honour agreements?

Vladimir Putin: As for the negotiating process, I have discussed it many times. I would like to emphasise it once again here in Minsk: Russia has never turned these negotiations down. Moreover, we started these talks in Belarus at some point and then moved them to Istanbul, Turkiye, at the request of the Ukrainian side. We reached certain agreements and drafted an agreement. Moreover, the head of the negotiating group from Ukraine initialed an extract from the potential agreement, meaning that the Ukrainian side was overall satisfied with it, as was the Russian side. Some of its provisions needed to be finalised, but, to reiterate, since Ukraine signed this document it was happy with what it said.

For reasons that are known quite well now, after the former British Prime Minister arrived in Kiev, the Ukrainian side tossed out these agreements and stopped acting on them. Moreover, they said the talks were over. They said so publicly, we were not the ones to terminate these talks. They did it and made it illegal for themselves to continue these talks. We did not forbid anyone to negotiate, since we are in favour of negotiations.

After that, at the direction and at the behest of their Western sponsors and masters, a new goal was set to inflict a strategic defeat of Russia and achieve victory over Russia on the battlefield. The discussions about the need to resume talks are back. Let them be back, but they should return not because one country wants then to return, but they must return on the basis of the principled agreements that had been reached during the difficult talks in Belarus and Turkiye, and on the basis of today’s realities on the ground. We are ready for this.

Who to negotiate with? This is certainly not an idle question, I agree. Of course, we realize that the current head of state is no longer legitimate. I think one of the goals of the conference to be held in Switzerland is precisely to have the Western community and sponsors of the Kiev regime confirm the legitimacy of the current head of state, or no longer the current head of state.

But these PR steps are irrelevant for legal documents. But if it comes to this, we will, of course, have to and I proceed from the premise that peace talks must be resumed and not via ultimatums but via common sense. They must rest on common sense. But if it comes to this, we, of course, must understand with whom we need and can deal with a view to signing legally binding documents. In this case, we must be absolutely sure that we are dealing with the legitimate authorities. This question must be answered in Ukraine itself, primarily, I think, by its parliament, the Constitutional Court or some other government authorities.

As far as I know, we must look at what is written in the Constitution of Ukraine, which government bodies have the right to be extended under the Constitution of Ukraine without elections and electoral procedures, and which cannot count on these rights. This may be done through a judicial analysis. These are questions for the Ukrainian political and legal systems.


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