Russia-Ukraine peace talks progress

Brussels 30.03.2022 A round of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine took place in Istanbul, Turkey, providing some perspective of progress. Ukrainian officials confirmed that the Ukrainian state was ready to declare itself permanently neutral and drop the project of joining NATO. More talks are expected to follow.

The delegation was also interested to discuss Russia’s territorial claims in exchange for “security guarantees” from a group of other states, mainly NATO allies.

The head of Russian delegations confirmed that the Russian military would “drastically” scale back its combat operations around Kyiv to “increase mutual trust.” However the activities aimed at establishing control over territories in eastern Ukraine continued.The operations around two separatist Republics recognised by Moscow recently as independent continued.

Western officials cautioned against taking at face value Russian delegation statements about its aims in Kyiv or elsewhere. President Biden said he would not draw any conclusions about the intentions of Russia and its military forces “until I see what their actions are.” The sanctions on Russia would remain in place, he added.

The Russian delegation suggested a meeting between Putin and Zelensky aiming at the endorsement of a bilateral peace treaty by the Foreign ministers.

“After today’s meaningful conversation, we agreed and suggest a solution, under which a meeting between the heads of state is possible concurrently with the endorsement of the treaty by the foreign ministers, the more so as during this initialing and consideration of the treaty’s details, it will be possible to discuss various political nuances and details,” Vladimir Medinsky, the head of the Russian delegation said after the Russian-Ukrainian talks in Istanbul.

“So, if the work on the treaty and a required compromise proceeds swiftly, the possibility of peace will be much closer,” he added.

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