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Highlights from Russia-Ukraine peace talks in Turkey

After a month of hostilities, Kiev has come up with a written proposal for what it wants from a peace treaty.

On Tuesday, Turkey hosted the latest round of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine. The Ukrainian side has come up with a written proposal for a peace treaty between the two nations, Russia’s top negotiator Vladimir Medinsky told the media after the session, which he described as “substantive.”

Russia-Ukraine peace talks news
Vladimir Medinksy (left), chief Russian negotiator, and Alexander Fomin Deputy Defence Minister. © POOL.

The proposal will now be relayed to Russian President Vladimir Putin for consideration, he added. Here is what else emerged after the talks.

Russian offensive scaled down

An immediate practical effect of the talks will be a de-escalation of military activities in some parts of Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry announced. In particular, it pledged to “dramatically” reduce its operations near the cities of Chernigov and the capital, Kiev.

NATO-like security guarantees

David Arakhamia, Medinsky’s opposite number in the Ukrainian delegation, said Kiev had sought a security guarantee similar to that contained in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. He named Russia, the UK, China, the US, Turkey, France, Canada, Italy, Poland and Israel as possible providers. Some of them have given their preliminary agreement, he said.

No military blocs and non-nuclear Ukraine

In the proposal, Ukraine pledged not to join any military alliance, not to host foreign military bases or foreign troops, Medinsky said. Even military exercises would require prior approval from guarantors, according to the proposal. Kiev also pledged not to seek to obtain weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, the official added. But in return Ukraine wants Russia not to object to its joining the EU one day.

Crimea, Donbass unresolved

According to Medinsky, Kiev offered a 15-year moratorium on the status of Crimea, during which its fate would be negotiated and both sides would pledge not to use military force to resolve it. This is not compatible with Russia’s position that Crimea is part of its territory and Kiev needs to recognize it as such.

Ukraine also sought to include “parts” of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions into the definition of its territory for the purpose of security guarantees, the Russian envoy said. Moscow officially recognized the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as sovereign states – in their full regional boundaries – just days before sending troops into Ukraine last month.

Borders in question

Medinsky said Kiev did not state whether it would relinquish its territorial claim to Donetsk and Lugansk. Prior to February, Ukraine controlled a large portion of both Donetsk and Lugansk and considers the regions to be its own territory.

Arakhamia made it clear that Kiev will assert sovereignty over the entire territory that Ukraine had when it declared independence in 1991, saying there could be no compromise on this point.

New conditions for Zelensky-Putin meeting

Moscow has agreed to organize a meeting between Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky as part of the final phase of negotiations over the future peace treaty. The Kremlin had previously said that such a meeting could only be scheduled once the document was finalized and inked by the respective foreign ministers.

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Source:RT News

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