Ukraine has rejected Russia’s proposals of neutrality models akin to that of Austria and Sweden, Agence France-Presse reported. 

This comes after the Kremlin’s statement on Wednesday that demilitarized Ukraine, along the lines of Austria or Sweden, having its own army, would be seen as a possible compromise. 

The Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said, “This is a variant that is currently being discussed and which could really be seen a compromise”, reported RIA Novosti the Russian state-run news agency. 

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Ukraine has been trying to gain a NATO membership for a long time. Russia has constantly sought to block this move and demanded Ukraine remain neutral. This recent reference to demilitarization echoes this idea. Ukraine has now cooled to the idea of joining NATO, with President Volodymyr Zelensky saying that the military organization didn’t stand up to Russia. 

Despite the talks between Russia and Ukraine not making much progress, a Ukrainian official already claimed that the war would end by mid-May since Russian soldiers would run out of resources. Notably, the US also accused Russia of seeking military and economic aid from China, as the nation has to face the brunt of sanctions imposed by the western world. 

Ukraine remains confident in reaching a diplomatic solution, with President Zelensky noting that Russia seems to be ‘more realistic‘ in their talks. He admitted that wars only end when both sides agree but it would take some time to reach decisions that would be in Ukraine’s interest. 

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Since the invasion began on February 24, Russian forces have besieged several key locations including the port city of Mariupol. Thus far, the peace talks haven’t resulted in a ceasefire, though both sides have been able to agree on setting up evacuation corridors to evacuate those trapped in these war-torn cities. However, the situation for many continues to deteriorate with reports emerging of people attacking each other for food