6th June 2023 – (Moscow) According to TASS, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Andrey Rudenko, announced that Moscow is considering all incoming proposals for the settlement of the situation in Ukraine and welcomes settlement efforts from all countries. The most recent initiative came from Indonesia, which proposed a plan for an immediate ceasefire. However, Moscow has not yet received the details of the proposal. Just like in the Chinese plan, it calls for an immediate ceasefire, which led to the plan being completely rejected by Kyiv. Ukraine is only ready to discuss those initiatives spearheaded by President Vladimir Zelensky. Meanwhile, Russia considers these to be ridiculous and insists that the accession of the four new regions to Russia is not up for discussion.
The plan proposed by Indonesia in early June is similar to the principles of the settlement on the Korean Peninsula after the war between the North and the South in the 1950s. The proposal calls for an immediate ceasefire by both sides, withdrawal of both Ukrainian and Russian forces 15 km away from their current positions, and the establishment of a demilitarized zone (DMZ). The initiative would mean stationing UN peacekeepers in the DMZ, as well as holding UN-supervised referendums to “objectively confirm the will of the majority.” However, the plan does not specify what territories are in question.
China’s 12 Points
In February, China published its own 12-point peace plan, which called for de-escalation, a ceasefire, and end of hostilities, as well as peace talks. China underscored that the security concerns of all sides must be taken into account. The Chinese peace plan provides for resolving the humanitarian crisis, exchanging captives, and ensuring food exports via the grain corridor. China called to prevent the development and use of biological and chemical weapons, to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and to avoid a nuclear crisis. According to Beijing, it is time to stop imposing unilateral sanctions not approved by the UN Security Council and to counter efforts to weaponize the global economy.
Initiatives of Brazil, France, and the Vatican
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva also calls for negotiations, establishing a new international format with participation of countries that are ready to act as mediators in Moscow and Kyiv and are not involved in the conflict. French President Emmanuel Macron also wanted to develop his own plan together with China. However, so far, the French leader has only proposed that Zelensky hold a summit dedicated to the conflict in Paris. The Vatican also proposed a peace mission and mediation efforts, with Pope Francis stating his readiness to visit Kyiv and Moscow.
African States’ Peace Mission
In mid-May, South Africa announced that African states are working to convince Russia and Ukraine to begin peace talks. The African initiative does not comprise a single plan – instead, it includes a number of ideas from other plans. Currently, the states are negotiating the terms and timing of their delegation’s visit to Moscow and Kyiv.
Russia’s position was outlined during the talks in Belarus, and later during talks in Turkey in February-April 2022. It includes Ukraine’s neutral, non-bloc status, cemented in its constitution, as well as Ukraine’s refusal to have its own nuclear arsenal. Russia demands the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine, resolution of the language issue, as well as recognition of the independence of DPR and LPR, and recognition of Russia’s sovereignty over Crimea and Sevastopol. However, the talks stalled when Ukraine did not respond to Russia’s project with clearly formulated peace agreement language.
Zelensky’s ’10 Steps’
Zelensky proposed his own “peace plan,” which Ukraine considers the only possible long-term solution. It includes Russia withdrawing its forces from Ukraine, “restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” and exchanging POWs under the “all for all” formula. Kiev must be provided with military, nuclear, food, biological, and energy security through international mechanisms. In addition, Ukraine wants all damage caused by the hostilities to be paid for by Russia.
According to Kyiv, the “time for mediators” – China, Brazil, the Vatican – is “over,” while the Indonesian initiative “will only buy time for Russia.” Ukraine is ready to discuss Africa’s proposals but has no intention to freeze the conflict. Meanwhile, Putin pointed out that China’s plan can be considered as the basis for the peace treaty, when the West and Kyiv become ready for it.