Ukraine and Russia
Ukraine and Russia would approach each other in the peace negotiations. The delegations are negotiating a fifteen-point peace plan, reports Financial Times. The British business newspaper relies on three sources who would be involved in the talks.
Both Russia and Ukraine have already announced in recent days that they see progress in the talks.
A first draft of the peace agreement would include a ceasefire and withdrawal of Russian troops.
That is on condition that Kyiv declares that it does not allow Western military bases or weapons on the territory and abandons the ambition to join NATO.
The Russians would like a militarily neutral status for Ukraine, similar to Austria or Sweden. These two countries are members of the European Union, but not of NATO. President Volodymyr Zelensky said Tuesday that Ukraine must recognize that NATO membership is not in the cards.
There would still be talk about the extent to which Ukraine can be militarily supported by the West.
Ukraine would also be allowed to keep its own army, although negotiations are still underway on how big that army may be.
According to presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak, one of the leaders of the Ukrainian delegation, it is unthinkable that there will be an agreement that does not include the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.
In recent days, the negotiations seem to be moving forward. Zelensky has already stated that the positions of the parties have become more realistic. His adviser Ihor Zhovka called the talks more constructive.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also sees opportunities for compromise.
Ukraine and Russia dealing with a fifteen-point harmony plan
Still the necessary obstacles in conversations
The main sticking points of the negotiations would mainly concern cultural aspects. For example, Russia would like the guarantee that the Russian language is protected in Ukraine, and not “expelled” by Ukrainian.
Russia also wants Ukraine to recognize the annexed Crimean peninsula as Russian territory and also recognize the self-proclaimed people’s republics in Luhansk and Donetsk as independent.
In addition, it remains to be seen whether the negotiations will be sealed by a conversation between Zelensky and Vladimir Putin.
Presidential adviser Podolyak said in an interview with NewsHour that “direct dialogue” between the presidents of Ukraine and Russia is necessary for successful negotiations.
Despite the ongoing negotiations, Ukrainian cities are still being shelled by Russian troops. In Ukraine, there are fears that Putin is only using the peace talks to buy time so that his troops can regroup.
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