MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Ukraine was ready to make peace with Russia and give up its plans to join NATO during negotiations in March 2022, but eventually abandoned the idea due to pressure from the United States, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder told the German newspaper.
“The only people who could settle the war against Ukraine are the Americans. During the peace negotiations in March 2022 in Istanbul with [then-Ukrainian chief negotiator] Rustem Umerov, the Ukrainians did not agree on peace because they were not allowed to. They first had to ask the Americans about everything they discussed,” Schroeder said in an interview with the newspaper on Saturday.
The former German chancellor said that Kiev had contacted him in 2022 to learn whether he could mediate talks with Russia, after which he had meetings with Umerov and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Schroeder told the newspaper that the potential peace agreement included five key points. First, under the draft deal, Kiev was supposed to abandon its NATO aspirations. Secondly, Ukraine should have restored the official status of the Russian language. Thirdly, Donbas was supposed to remain part of Ukraine, but with a special territorial status, like South Tyrol, an autonomous province in Northern Italy. Fourthly, Ukraine should have received security guarantees from the permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany. The final, fifth issue under discussion was the status of Crimea, Schroeder told media.