Moscow claims that Crimea is Russia toasted by post-invasion ‘lease’ proposal leaked by ally Lukashenko

15 June, 01:34 AM
Alexander Lukashenko (Photo:Sputnik/Gavriil Grigorov/Pool via REUTERS)

Alexander Lukashenko (Photo:Sputnik/Gavriil Grigorov/Pool via REUTERS)

Moscow sought to agree on "leasing" Crimea from Ukraine during negotiations early in its full-scale invasion, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko claimed during an interview with Russia 1 TV channel.

Speaking to Kremlin propagandists, Lukashenko said his younger son Nikolai allegedly helped arrange a "phone call" with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Lukashenko adds that after a lengthy conversation, Zelenskyy agreed to meet with Russia's delegation in Belarus.

"Putin handed me a document with the delegations' initials,” the self-proclaimed Belarusian president claimed.

Video of day

“It's normal, even regarding Crimea - the long-term lease there, regarding Donbas in the east...A normal agreement. If only then - now it's impossible."

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov later denied Lukashenko's remarks about "leasing Crimea", calling the occupied Ukrainian peninsula a "region" of Russia.

At the invasion's outset, a draft peace treaty proposed Ukraine and Russia hold bilateral talks on Crimea and Sevastopol for 15 years. However, after Russian war crimes and atrocities in Ukraine, the negotiations stalled after several rounds. Ukrainian representatives stressed Russia did not want to end the war and sought to destroy Ukraine completely.

President Zelenskyy announced on Sept. 30, 2022, that he would not meet with Russian dictator Vladmir Putin, based on the decision of the National Security and Defense Council.

Prior to that, the aggressor state tried to annex seized Ukrainian territories.

Zelenskyy reiterated that position on May 21, 2023, stating that no peace talks could occur with Russia until Russian troops leave all Ukrainian territory.

Will you support Ukraine’s free press?

Dear reader, as all news organizations, we must balance the pressures of delivering timely, accurate, and relevant stories with requirements to fund our business operations.

As a Ukrainian-based media, we also have another responsibility – to amplify Ukraine’s voice to the world during the crucial moment of its existence as a political nation.

It’s the support of our readers that lets us continue doing our job. We keep our essential reporting free because we believe in our ultimate purpose: an independent, democratic Ukraine.

If you’re willing to support Ukraine, consider subscribing to our Patreon starting from 5$ per month. We are immensely grateful.

Please help us continue fighting Russian propaganda.

Truth can be hard to tell from fiction these days. Every viewpoint has its audience of backers and supporters, no matter how absurd.

If conscious disinformation is reinforced by state propaganda apparatus and budget, its outcomes may become deadly.

There is no solution to this, other than independent, honest, and accurate reporting.

We remain committed to empowering the Ukrainian voice to push against the muck. If you’re willing to stand up for the truth – consider supporting us on Patreon starting from 5$ per month. Thank you very much.

Will you help tell Ukraine’s story to the world?

Twenty years ago, most people hadn’t even heard of Ukraine. Today, the country is on everyone’s lips and everyone’s headlines. War pushed us on the front page. But there are many other things we do that we are proud of – from music and culture to technology.

We need your help to tell the world Ukrainian story of resilience, joy, and survival. If you’re willing to back our effort, consider supporting us on Patreon starting from 5$ per month. We are immensely grateful.

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google News

Ukraine Today
Fresh daily newsletter covering the top headlines and developments in Ukraine
Daily at 9am EST
Show more news