MOSCOW, May 17. /TASS/. Top Ukrainian intelligence official Kirill Budanov has proposed creating a 100-km-long demilitarized zone between Ukraine and Russia.
"The question of ending the war [involves] the creation of a demilitarized zone; this is our goal," the head of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate told the Ukrainian Islandia (Iceland) TV channel.
When further elaborating on the practical aspects of creating such a zone, Budanov said that, "this would be a zone that could not be attacked by the usual means." "In my view, this would absolutely be the right distance," the top intelligence official pointed out.
The Russian government had earlier repeatedly voiced its readiness to negotiate with Ukraine to reach a settlement of the conflict. At the same time, however, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova pointed out that the main obstacle standing in the way of such talks was the prohibition on conducting negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which was legally enshrined by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s decree of September 30, 2022, "as well as the initiatives of the Ukrainian head of state, which indicate official Kiev’s complete detachment from modern realities," including the demand to withdraw Russian troops from the new regions of the country. On February 9, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow did not see any desire on the part of the Ukrainian side to start a serious conversation on a peaceful settlement.