Kremlin suggests Ukraine would use Olympic truce to try to regroup

Kremlin suggests Ukraine would use Olympic truce to try to regroup


Kremlin suggests Ukraine would use Olympic truce to try to regroup

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin reacted coolly on Tuesday to French President Emmanuel Macron's call for a truce in international conflicts during the Paris Olympics, saying Ukraine might use it as an opportunity to regroup and rearm.

Suspending armed conflicts under an "Olympic truce" is a longstanding tradition, and Macron said in an interview on Monday that he would work towards achieving one when Paris hosts the Summer Games from July 26 to Aug. 11.

Asked about this, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that both President Vladimir Putin and the Russian military had "noticed that, as a rule, the Kyiv regime uses such ideas, such initiatives to try to regroup, to try to rearm, and so on and so forth".

He did not cite any specific instance when Ukraine had behaved in that way. The war has raged since Feb. 24, 2022, when Putin launched what he called a "special military operation" in Ukraine, and there has been no truce during that period.

Peskov did not go as far as ruling out an Olympic truce, but said no one had yet made any official steps in that regard.

The front lines in Ukraine have not shifted dramatically since late 2022, but Russia has regained the initiative since capturing the town of Avdiivka in February. Ukrainian forces are running low on ammunition as military aid remains held up in the U.S. Congress, and President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said Russia may launch a major offensive in late spring or summer.

In his interview with French media, Macron said France would "do everything" to bring about a truce in the conflicts in Ukraine, Gaza and Sudan, and that he would engage Chinese President Xi Jinping on the issue.

"It is an opportunity on which I will try to involve many of our partners. The Chinese president is coming to Paris in a few weeks, I will ask him to help me," he said.

Peskov, in reply to a separate question about China, said Beijing's position on the Ukraine conflict was "very balanced and constructive".

China, which has not condemned Moscow's invasion and has substantially boosted trade with Russia since the start of the war, put forward a peace initiative last year consisting of a set of general principles that did not include specifics on how to bring the conflict to an end.