“As the negotiations on an agreement on the neutrality and non-nuclear status of Ukraine entering a practical dimension (…), it was decided, in order to increase confidence, to drastically reduce military activity in the direction of kyiv and Cherniguiv,” said Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin on Tuesday March 29 in Istanbul at the end of the talks.
A Zelensky-Putin meeting on the table
Head of Russian delegation and Kremlin representative Vladimir Medinsky reported ‘substantial discussions’ and said Ukraine’s ‘clear’ proposals for an agreement would be ‘studied very soon and submitted to the President ” Vladimir Poutine.
The muscular speech of US President Joe Biden in Warsaw
According to him, a meeting of Ukrainian leaders Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian Vladimir Putin would be possible in the event of an agreement to end hostilities.
“As regards a meeting of the two presidents, we have said from the beginning that it will be possible when there is an agreement (…) The meeting could be multilateral, with the participation of guarantor states”, has said Vladimir Medinsky.
Ukraine demands a “shield” similar to that of NATO
“We insist that this is an international agreement that will be signed by all security guarantors,” said David Arakhamia. “We want an international mechanism of security guarantees where the guarantor countries will act in a similar way to Article 5 of NATO and even in a more firm way”, he added.
Article 5 of the Atlantic Alliance treaty stipulates that an attack against one of its members is an attack against all.
What is the content of the discussions on Ukraine’s neutrality?
David Arakhamia cited, among the countries that Ukraine would like to have as guarantors, the United States, China, France and Great Britain – members of the UN Security Council – but also Turkey, Germany, Poland and Israel.
A neutral status envisaged
“Ukraine will accept a neutral status if the security guarantee system works,” he added. For these guarantees to take effect as soon as possible, Crimea and the Donbass territories under the control of pro-Russian separatists – would be “temporarily excluded” from the agreement, the negotiator further specified.
The conditions for a first meeting between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin are now “sufficient”, confirmed Ukrainian chief negotiator David Arakhamia.
“Provided that we work quickly on the agreement, and find the necessary compromises, the possibility of concluding peace will come closer,” said his Russian counterpart Vladimir Medinsky.