Ground Report | New Delhi: Russia Ukraine negotiation; Ukraine and Russia will hold a new round of negotiations starting today, Monday, this time for three days and in Turkey, as announced by the member of the Ukrainian delegation, David Arahamiya, through social networks.
The information was also confirmed by the Turkish Presidency, after a conversation between the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
Erdogan and Putin spoke by phone on Sunday about the need to reach a ceasefire in Ukraine as soon as possible to improve the humanitarian situation in the area, the Anadolu agency reports, citing sources from the Turkish presidency.
Erdogan assured his interlocutor that Turkey will continue to participate in this process, and the two leaders agreed that the next round of negotiations between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations will be held in Istanbul.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian leader of the official parliamentary faction, The People’s Server, indicated through his Facebook account that “Today (Sunday), in the round (of negotiations) by videoconference, the two delegations decided to hold the next round in person in Turkey from March 28 to 30”.
The head of the Russian delegation, Vladimir Medinski, confirmed the appointment, although without mentioning Turkey, on his official Telegram channel.
“Today another round of negotiations with Ukraine took place via videoconference. As a result, the decision was made to meet face to face,” he wrote, although he maintained that the meeting would take place from March 29 to 30.
So far, the two parties have met in person on three occasions –on February 28, March 3 and March 7– on Belarusian territory, while on the 10th the ministers of Foreign Affairs of Russia and Ukraine, Sergei Lavrov and Dmitro Kuleba, respectively.
Since then, negotiations have taken place practically daily in videoconference format at the level of the two delegations and working groups.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is trying to mediate between the parties, said on Friday that in the negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow “it can be said that there are agreements on some issues”, specifically on four of six points.
Among these, he cited Ukraine’s refusal to join NATO, the recognition of Russian as a co-official language, as well as concessions regarding demilitarization and “collective security”.
On the contrary, Erdogan stated, Ukraine is not willing to negotiate the cession of Crimea to Russia or recognize the independence of the pro-Russian separatist regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, something that the Ukrainian president himself, Volodimir Zelensky, has already made clear on several occasions.
In turn, it has admitted that Ukraine will never join NATO, for which it has demanded security guarantees from the international community, including Russia, in exchange for giving up that aspiration of the State.
Medinski maintained in this regard that the negotiations with Ukraine are “prolonging” because of Kyiv and “there is no progress” on the key issues. Kuleba also denied that Kyiv and Moscow have reached a consensus on the main issues on the table, stressing that the only official language in Ukraine is and will remain Ukrainian.
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