On Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia’s military “operation” in Ukraine could end in the “foreseeable future” as goals are being reached and negotiations are ongoing.
“The operation continues; the goals are being achieved. Substantive work is being carried out both through the military in terms of advancing the operation, and through the negotiators who are in the negotiation process with Ukrainian counterparts,” Peskov told reporters.
“We are talking about the foreseeable future,” he added when asked for a timeline. According to Russia’s Tass news agency, Peskov was responding to questions about comments he made to Sky News a day earlier.
The Kremlin spokesman told Sky News on Thursday that Russia hopes “in coming days, in the foreseeable future, this operation will reach its goals or will finish it by the negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian delegation.”
Russia and Ukraine have been engaged in negotiations since around the time the fighting began on February 24. During talks in Turkey on March 29, Ukraine put forward a draft peace deal.
The potential agreement includes Kyiv giving up on its plans to join NATO. But in return, Ukraine wants security guarantees similar to NATO’s article 5 from Western powers, including the US and Britain, which is likely a non-starter for Moscow.
When it comes to the military campaign, Russia has said it’s now focusing on “liberating” the eastern Donbas region and has completely withdrawn its forces from areas in the north near the cities of Kyiv and Chernihiv.