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Kremlin manipulates talks proposals to derail international support for Ukraine – ISW

Monday, 4 March 2024, 03:30
Kremlin manipulates talks proposals to derail international support for Ukraine – ISW
The Kremlin. Stock photo: Getty Images

Experts from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) believe that the Russian authorities are manipulating the negotiation platforms proposed by China and Türkiye to derail further international support for Ukraine.

Source: ISW

Details: Analysts noted that as China and Türkiye continue to create their own negotiation platforms to resolve the situation in Ukraine, the Kremlin is using them to advance its information operations intended to impede further international support for Ukraine.


Mikhail Galuzin, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister, and Li Hui, China's Special Representative on Eurasian Affairs, held a meeting in Moscow to discuss China's willingness to facilitate peace talks between Russia and Ukraine.

Galuzin and Li noted that it was "impossible" to discuss a settlement in Ukraine without Russia's participation and without "taking into account [Russia’s] interests in the security sphere".

Galuzin and Li added that Western and Ukrainian "ultimatums" and "dialogue formats" only "harm the prospects for a settlement and cannot serve as [the settlement’s] basis".

The report further stated that Li is expected to visit Ukraine and some EU countries after the meetings in Russia.

At the same time, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan announced during the Antalya Diplomatic Forum on 3 March that Türkiye hopes the ceasefire talks in Ukraine "will start soon" and that his country believes "both sides have reached the limits" of what they could accomplish militarily.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently stated that Türkiye is ready to arrange another platform for talks between Russia and Ukraine, a proposal that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov publicly rejected on 1 March.

The report points out that Russian officials continue to falsely blame Ukraine and the West for the absence of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, despite numerous public Russian remarks indicating that Russia is not interested in holding good-faith peace negotiations with Ukraine.

ISW remains of the view that any Russian statements that Russia is interested in peace talks are likely an attempt to feign interest in order to elicit pre-emptive concessions from the West on Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity and to place the responsibility for negotiations on Ukraine and the West.

To quote the ISW’s Key Takeaways on 3 March: 

  • China and Türkiye continue to pursue their own negotiation platforms for a settlement in Ukraine, which the Kremlin is exploiting to further its own information operations aimed at discouraging continued international support for Ukraine.
  • Recent relatively high Russian aviation losses appear to be prompting a significant decrease in Russian aviation activity in eastern Ukraine, although it is unclear how long this decrease in activity will last.
  • Delays in Western security assistance will likely make Ukraine’s energy infrastructure more vulnerable to Russian strikes.
  • Russian forces operating around Avdiivka appear to be adapting to conducting offensive ground operations with trained and untrained personnel.
  • German officials confirmed that the Kremlin is conducting an information operation aimed at deterring Western states, particularly Germany, from sending additional military aid to Ukraine.
  • The Russian Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAK) announced on 3 March that the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) conducted a localised counter-terrorism operation in Karabulak, Republic of Ingushetia.
  • Positional engagements continued throughout the theatre on 3 March.
  • Russian regional administrations continue efforts to expand the aperture of ongoing crypto-mobilisation efforts.

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