War in Ukraine: kyiv announces real progress in negotiations with Moscow

Ukraine’s chief negotiator in the peace talks with Russia says Moscow had “verbally” accepted his country’s main proposals. A meeting between Presidents Zelensky and Putin in Turkey is even mentioned.

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Ukraine’s chief negotiator in peace talks with Russia said on Saturday (April 2) that Moscow had accepted “orally” the main Ukrainian proposals. Speaking on a television broadcast, David Arakhamia hinted that talks aimed at ending hostilities had made significant progress.

“The Russian Federation has given an official response to all positions [ukrainiennes]namely that it accepts them, except with regard to the question of the Crimea”, annexed by Moscow in 2014, assured the person concerned. He added that if there was “no official confirmation in writing”the Russian side having accepted it “orally”.

The negotiator also said that if a meeting between Ukrainian Presidents Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian Presidents Vladimir Putin finally takes place, it will go ahead. “very probably” in Turkey. Turkish Head of State Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who this week hosted the Russian and Ukrainian delegations in his country, “called us and Vladimir Putin” Friday, saying he would host such a meeting. “We don’t know the date or the place, but we think the place will most likely be Ankara or Istanbul”noted David Arakhamia.

Since the start of the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly called for face-to-face talks with Vladimir Putin. The Ukrainian negotiator pointed out that Moscow had agreed during the talks that a referendum on Ukraine’s neutrality would be “the only way out of this situation”. If the Ukrainians do not agree to such a status, “we will either return to a state of war, perhaps, or to new negotiations”. The Kremlin insisted on the fact that Ukraine should give up joining NATO and opt for neutrality.

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