'Significant progress' in Ukraine-Russia talks: Report
- Leonid Slutsky, a member of the Russian delegation for the Ukraine-Russia talks said 'significant progress' has been made in negotiations
- 'I expect the progress may grow into a unified position of both delegations, and into a document for signing,' he said
- Last week's talks between Ukrainian and Russian diplomats generated little noticeable progress
Leonid Slutsky, a member of the Russian delegation for the Ukraine-Russia talks said "significant progress" has been made in negotiations with the Ukrainian team since the start of talks, according to Russian state news agency RIA.
“I expect the progress may grow into a unified position of both delegations, and into a document for signing,” he said.
Last week's talks between Ukrainian and Russian diplomats generated little noticeable progress. Supposedly safe routes out of the nation have been called into question on numerous occasions. The number of civilians killed continues to increase, and by the end of the week, both sides were trading claims about the use of chemical weapons.
While Russian President Vladimir Putin stated on Friday that there had been "certain positive advances" in negotiations with Ukraine, US and European officials and diplomats who talked to CNN all expressed grave doubt about the current state of affairs. None of Putin's actions to yet have given the impression that the Russian leader is willing to pursue a diplomatic exit strategy to stop the war.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that Ukraine will not join NATO and that he is open to discuss Donetsk and Luhansk, which he refers to as "temporarily occupied territories and pseudo-republics" recognised only by Russia. He also stated that Ukraine will not recognise Crimea as Russian territory, but that talks can continue.
Russia has stated that it opposes regime change in Ukraine. However, Ukraine seeks a "collective security agreement" (containing a commitment from the United States, France, Germany, and Turkey) to provide assurances for Donbas (indirect NATO involvement), which Russia is unlikely to accept. Zelenskyy resigned because NATO rejected his call for a no-fly zone, and Russian forces in Donbas cannot be dislodged without direct NATO engagement.
As a result, the ceasefire is conditional on mutual agreement on Donbas and Crimea. Furthermore, the West continues to send armaments and mercenaries into Ukraine, despite Ukrainians' lack of trust in Zelensky. According to a recent study conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, less than 23% of Ukrainians will vote for Zelensky if he seeks re-election.