Negotiations between Russia and Ukraine move towards a plan to agree on a ceasefire

The war does not stop. But the dialogue is advancing and the sixth round of negotiations between Ukraine and Russia a small ray of hope has opened this Wednesday. As reported first by the British newspaper ‘Financial Times’ and later confirmed by the Ukrainian delegation, Moscow and kyiv have begun to study a draft of 15 points to put an end to the bloody war that began in Ukraine three weeks ago. Hours earlier, the Ukrainian presidency, Volodymyr Zelensky, advanced in a speech that Russia’s positions in the ceasefire negotiations “sound more realistic”, but that time is still needed for the decisions “to be of interest to Ukraine “.

After hours of negotiations, carried out in the midst of a war that has not stopped for a moment, the Ukrainian negotiator Mijailo Podoliak has assured that, in the draft that is being negotiated, Ukraine has asked for a ceasefire, security guarantees for his country “on behalf of a number of countries” and the withdrawal of russian troops. Podoliak, however, has not clarified whether this request includes the Russian Army leaving the entire country or whether the separatist areas of the Donbas region, made up of the Donetsk and Lugansk provinces, are excluded. It is in this area where the conflict started eight years ago, with the rise of pro-Russian militias against the kyiv government.

Podoliak has pointed out that the text initially leaked to the international press also contains the demands of the Russian delegation that includes, among others, that Ukraine refuses to join NATO and to accept the limitation of its Armed Forces. “Ukraine has its own positions & rdquor ;, the Ukrainian representative has pointed out, without giving more details. Yesterday, Tuesday, Zelensky asked the Ukrainians to forget about joining NATO. ” “It has become clear that Ukraine is not a member of NATO. We understand. We are understanding people. For years we have heard that the doors were supposedly open, but we have already seen that we cannot enter, “said the Ukrainian president. “This is so and I must admit it, “he added.

Neutral country

The progress in the negotiations has coincided with the statements of Sergey Lavrov himself, the influential Russian Foreign Minister, who already on Wednesday morning stated that the two countries were “closer & rdquor; to find a compromise. “There are a number of formulations of the agreements with Ukraine on the status of neutrality and the security guarantees that are about to be achieved & rdquor ;, Lavrov said, according to statements collected by the Interfax agency.

However, after the Kremlin suggested that the two sides were discussing the possibility of Ukraine acquire the status of a neutral country such as Sweden or Austria —two countries with an army, but not affiliated with NATO— Podoliak has rejected this option. “Ukraine is in a direct war with Russia. Therefore, the model can only be Ukrainian, and only with a base of solid security guarantees & rdquor ;, said the negotiator, affirming, however, that he believes that it is possible that an agreement is reached for the ceasefire in the coming days, according to the Interfax-Ukraine agency. Even more confusing have been the words of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has insisted that Russia is fighting for “its sovereignty.”

Skepticism among Ukrainians

Related news

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has considered that it is “too early to speculate on the outcome of the negotiations”, although he has indicated that he sees an “acceptable” solution as possible. The Spanish Foreign Minister, José Manuel Albares, for his part, has stated from the Polish-Ukrainian border that he does not believe Russia’s “words” about an alleged advance in the negotiations but that he expects “facts”.

The Ukrainian population has also received the news with skepticism. “How are we going to believe them if they also promised us that they were going to keep various humanitarian corridors open and they have not done so?” reflected Taras, a commercial agent who enlisted in the Territorial Defense Units, a body of civilians armed by the Ukrainian government to fight in the conflict. “I do not trust that we will now reach a compromise for peace, and that this agreement will be the final one. On the contrary, I think it is possible that this will only serve Russia to buy time and to resupply its troops & rdquor ;, explained Andrei, a driver who used to work for film productions.

Leave a Comment