Skip to content

Details of 2022 Peace Negotiations Revealed by Wall Street Journal

Putin showing African leaders what he claims to be a 'draft peace agreement' with Ukraine, which was discussed in Turkey in 2022. Credit:

March 7, 2024 (EIRNS)—A March 1, 2024 [article])( in the Wall Street Journal reveals new details on the Spring 2022 negotiations for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Ukraine.

“A draft peace treaty drawn up by Russian and Ukrainian negotiators in April 2022, about six weeks after the start of the war, lays bare the sort of deal Putin was after at the time,” opens the article. “While the broad outlines of the ultimately unsuccessful peace negotiations have been disclosed, the full 17-page document, which was viewed by the Wall Street Journal and others familiar with the negotiations, hasn’t been made public.”

The Journal reports on its contents without reproducing the text itself.

We learn that the document was dated April 15, 2022, that it called for turning Ukraine into a “permanently neutral state that doesn’t participate in military blocs,” maintained Crimea under Russian control, and placed limits on Ukrainian military cooperation and force size.

The draft agreement showed that both sides were willing to make “deep concessions” to bring an end to the fighting.

Ukraine would be allowed to join the EU, but not military alliances, such as NATO. Foreign weapons would not be allowed on Ukrainian soil, and the military would be limited. (Russia wanted a limit of 85,000 troops, while Ukraine demanded 250,000. The numbers of tanks and artillery pieces were also under negotiation. Russia wanted to limit Ukrainian missile ranges to 40 km.)

Crimea would remain under Russian administration, rather than being considered neutral. The future of the provinces of eastern Ukraine was not determined in the draft agreement, leaving that matter to face-to-face talks between Putin and Zelenskyy.

The peace deal was to be guaranteed by foreign powers—the permanent five members of the UN Security Council, which would have the responsibility to protect Ukraine’s neutrality. Russia wanted to add Belarus as an additional guarantor; Ukraine wanted to add Türkiye.

Following an April 9, 2022 visit of then-U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Kiev, the negotiations faltered, and were fully broken off in June.

After reporting on the facts, the Wall Street Journal turns to the Brits to help with its analysis. A peace agreement would leave Ukraine “at the mercy of Russia for any future repeat of the invasion,” said Keir Giles, senior consulting fellow of the Chatham House’s Russia and Eurasia Program. ChathaM House is also quoted as tallying up over 400 Russian violations of international treaties and conventions since 2014.

The Journal all but acknowledges that 2022 was a lost opportunity for peace, with Russia in a position to make stronger demands now that two years have passed.