Putin ready for ceasefire in Ukraine say Reuters' sources

Putin ready for ceasefire in Ukraine say Reuters' sources
Reuters reports that Putin is tiring of the war and is offering to freeze the conflict along the current battlelines. / bne IntelliNews
By bne IntelliNews May 24, 2024

Russian President Vladimir Putin is prepared to halt the war in Ukraine with a negotiated ceasefire based on recognising the current battlefield lines, four Russian sources told Reuters. However, he remains ready to fight on if Kyiv and the West reject the offer.

Three of the sources, familiar with discussions within Putin's inner circle, indicated that the veteran Russian leader has expressed frustration to a select group of advisers over what he perceives as Western-backed efforts to impede negotiations and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's refusal to enter talks.

"Putin can fight for as long as it takes, but Putin is also ready for a ceasefire – to freeze the war," said one of the four sources, a senior Russian figure in the Kremlin. All sources spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Reuters interviewed five individuals who currently work with or have previously worked with Putin at a senior level in political and business spheres. The fifth source did not comment on the possibility of freezing the war at the present frontlines.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Reuters that the Kremlin chief has consistently affirmed Russia's openness to dialogue to achieve its objectives, asserting that the country does not desire “eternal war.”

The foreign and defence ministries of Ukraine did not respond to questions.

The recent appointment of economist Andrei Belousov as Russia's defence minister has been interpreted by some Western military and political analysts as an indication that Russia is positioning its economy for a prolonged conflict.

Against that some analysts have argued that Putin would be happy to stop the war and freeze it at the current line of contact as the combination of a prolonged war and the extreme sanctions would lead to Russia’s economic stagnation.

In addition, Ukraine’s position is expected to improve in 2025 when western investments into new arms production are expected to come online that will help Ukraine’s military position.