The ambitious proposal would require so-called compromises, which Ukraine has refused to do
Italian Foreign Minister Luigi de Maio has presented a peace plan for Ukraine to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, La Repubblica reports. The plan, which would declare a ceasefire between Ukraine and Russia and resolve their territorial disputes under the supervision of international observers, has met with several obstacles, including Kiev’s insistence on continuing the war.
De Maio presented his plan to Guterres in New York on Wednesday, while his content was also shown to leaders of the G7 and the Quint Group (United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy), the Italian newspaper reported.
According to the report, the four steps of the plan will be completed in sequence, with each step testing the confidence of the parties involved before reaching the next.
First comes a ceasefire and the disarmament of the front lines in eastern Ukraine. From there, multilateral talks will begin on Ukraine’s future international status – whether the country will join the EU and what its neutrality will look like. Third, Ukraine and Russia will negotiate an agreement on the status of Crimea and the People’s Republic of Donetsk and Lugansk. Kyiv insists that these territories are all Ukrainian, while Crimea voted to join Russia in 2014, and Russia recognizes the independence of the two Donbas republics.
Finally, the plan calls for a multilateral agreement on peace and security in Europe, focusing on disarmament and arms control, as well as the withdrawal of Russian forces from the territory currently claimed by Ukraine.
The effort will be overseen by an ‘International Facilitation Group’, comprising EU countries and the United Nations. La Repubblica did not name all the countries involved, but speculated that a shortlist could include France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, the United States, China, Canada, the United Kingdom, Poland and Israel.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday that Moscow was not aware of the plan. “I learned about its existence in the media.” But Peskov added that “Anyone who can help reach an agreement is welcome to participate.” And that “No one is rejecting any kind of sincere effort.”
However, both Ukraine and some countries have shared their plans with De Mayo, indicating that they may not be open to such an agreement. Negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow have broken down, with several extremists in Volodymyr Zelensky’s government saying they are only “Surrender of the Russian Federation.” Zelensky himself has said he is open to a deal, but will not recognize Crimea as Russian territory.
And while the leaders of Italy, France and Germany have spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin since the start of Russia’s military campaign in February and called for peace through negotiations, the United Kingdom has opposed “any talks with Russia.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the remarks to French President Emmanuel Macron last week “Ukraine will win, backed by the right level of defensive military assistance.” During a visit to Kyiv a few days ago, Johnson told Zelensky that while the Ukrainian leader was willing to sign an agreement with Russia, the West did not.
In Washington, the Biden administration is ready to lay down arms in Ukraine, White House Press Secretary Jane Sackie said last week. “We think the most constructive role is to support the hand of the Ukrainians at the negotiating table and to support them militarily.” To that end, the administration has already shipped about $ 4 billion worth of arms and ammunition to Ukraine since February and is currently urging Congress to pass a $ 40 billion military and economic aid bill for Ukraine.