Ukraine Official: 15-Point Plan to End War Just a List of Russian Demands

Ukraine and Russia are reportedly getting closer to agreeing on a 15-point peace plan that would include a Russian troop withdrawal and cease-fire. However, a senior adviser to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has said the plan thus far only includes Russia's demands and not Ukraine's conditions.

The Financial Times reported the deal was first discussed in full by officials from both countries on Monday. Among the concessions that Kyiv would have to make, according to the newspaper, is declaring neutrality and abandon its call to join NATO. Additionally, Ukraine would have to agree not to allow foreign military bases or weaponry into its borders as part of any proposed deals from allies like the U.S. or U.K.

The last condition is said to be a potential sticking point, the Financial Times wrote. Russian President Vladimir Putin has also shown no public signs that he's backing down from the military attacks on Ukraine, declared Wednesday that Russia "will never allow Ukraine to become a stronghold of aggressive actions against our country."

However, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov indicated a cease-fire could soon be possible.

"Neutral status is now being seriously discussed along, of course, with security guarantees," Lavrov told RBC news, according to Reuters. "Now this very thing is being discussed in negotiations—there are absolutely specific formulations which in my view are close to agreement."

Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to Zelensky, spoke to the Financial Times. He told the outlet that his country would only accept a peace plan that involves Russian troops withdrawing from specific regions in Ukraine.

Podolyak also tweeted on Wednesday that the Financial Times had only "published a draft, which represents the requesting position of the Russian side. Nothing more." He added that Ukraine "has its own positions" and the only part that could be confirmed about a peace plan is that it would include "a ceasefire, withdrawal of Russian troops and security guarantees from a number of countries."

The Financial Times reported on the peace proposal as Zelensky addressed the U.S. Congress in a video message and Russian forces intensified attacks on Kyiv. During his appeal to lawmakers, Zelensky called for more assistance from the U.S., including more sanctions against Putin and for help in implementing a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

Though U.S. President Joe Biden did not agree to a no-fly zone, he announced new shipments of supplies to Ukraine, which includes anti-aircraft and anti-armor systems, ammunition and drones that Ukraine has also been requesting.

Newsweek reached out to Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment but did not hear back from either in time for publication.

Follow our live blog for updates on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Update 03/16/22 2:45 p.m. ET: This story has been updated to include more background information.

Mykhailo Podolyak,
Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said a report of a proposed peace plan with Russia only includes Russia’s proposals without Ukraine’s conditions. Above, Podolyak speaks to media after a meeting between delegations from Ukraine and Russia in Belarus on February 28, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. SERGEI KHOLODILIN/BELTA/AFP via Getty Images