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Putin Says Entertained Idea of Ukraine Keeping Control Over Kherson, Zaporozhye Regions

© Sputnik / POOL / Go to the mediabankRussian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting of the Council for Science and Education
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting of the Council for Science and Education - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.06.2024
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that during talks with one of the Ukraine conflict mediators he did not rule out the option of letting Ukraine have control over the regions of Kherson and Zaporozhye under the condition that Russia preserves a land route to Crimea.
"In general, I do not rule out keeping Ukraine’s sovereignty over these territories [Kherson and Zaporozhye regions]. However, with a condition that Russia has a cemented land route to Crimea. So Kiev should guarantee a so-called easement — a legally formed access right for Russia to the Crimean peninsula through Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. This is the most important political decision. And, certainly, its final version would not be adopted unilaterally, but only after consultations with the Security Council, other structures," Putin said at a meeting with leaders of the Russian foreign department, describing his answer to the mediator.
Many politicians in the West offered Moscow their mediation efforts in the Ukraine conflict when Russia took control of parts of Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, Putin added.

"Currently … the state of affairs has dramatically changed, the citizens of Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, in the course of the referendums, expressed their position. The Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, together with the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk became part of the Russian Federation, so there can be no talks on violating our state unity. The people’s will was unshakable, the issue is closed forever and is not discussed," Putin added.

Vladimir Putin - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.06.2024
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In exchange for the international security guarantees, Ukraine agreed to limit the size of its forces, not deploy foreign military contingents, and abandon exercises, Putin said, adding, however, that it rejected the path towards peace under the orders of the Western states.
The true "masters" of Ukraine are not the people, but the elites of the West, Putin said.

Then Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was in Moscow on March 5, 2022, the day that Putin spoke about in the context of talks with a foreign mediator, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov said.

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