Russia and Ukraine continue negotiating a way out of the conflict and begin to approach positions. The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, acknowledged on Wednesday that the talks with Ukraine “are not easy”, but he hopes that they can reach an agreement to end the war. “Negotiations are not easy, for obvious reasons, but there is some hope to reach a compromise,” the minister said in an interview with the Russian television channel RBC TV. The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyhas stated that his country “needs to negotiate a just peace with security guarantees” and has asked citizens not to share on social networks where the Ukrainian troops operate so as not to provide the information to the Russians. Zelenski already acknowledged last night that the positions in the negotiations for a ceasefire “sound more realistic”, but what was needed more time for decisions “to be in the interest of Ukraine”.
The negotiations try to achieve a ceasefire that allows the establishment of safe humanitarian corridors and, from there, I would enter the most political part regarding the issues that led to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the war, which began on February 24. The siege of the big cities continues. Russia launched missiles at a residential neighborhood and destroyed two apartment blocks in the capital. Two buildings with 12 and 9 floors.
A model of neutrality similar to that of Sweden and Austria
Russia fundamentally demands that Ukraine renounce membership in NATO, something that President Zelensky has already accepted, that he recognizes the annexation of Crimea (carried out in 2014) and that he accepts the independence of the “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Lugansk, located in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas and recognized by Moscow. The Kremlin has claimed that the parties were discussing a status for Ukraine similar to that of Austria or Sweden, members of the European Union that are outside the NATO military alliance and therefore they do not have any foreign bases on their territory.
The head of the Russian delegation at the talks with Ukraine, Vladimir Medinsky, raised this possibility on Wednesday and the Kremlin spokesman, Dimitri Peskov, he has taken it for granted. Peskov has confirmed that it is an option that is on the table and that, in the eyes of Moscow, it would mean “a certain compromise” on the part of kyiv. Three weeks after the invasion, the advance of Russian troops have stalled at the gates of kyivafter suffering heavy losses and failing to seize any of Ukraine’s largest cities in a war that Western officials say Moscow thought it would win in a matter of days.