Delegations of the two countries recently finished a second round of negotiations. The sides failed to reach an agreement on a ceasefire or ending the Russian special operation, but made progress on humanitarian issues.
Russia and Ukraine negotiated a format for humanitarian corridors for the exit of Ukrainian civilians from cities, the head of the Russian delegation, Vladimir Medinsky, stated. They also discussed prospects of a temporary ceasefire for regions around humanitarian corridors, he added.
“We managed to find mutual understanding for some [issues raised during the talks], but the main issue that was resolved today is the rescue of people, civilians, who have found themselves in the zone of military clashes”, Medinsky said.
Another member of the Russian delegation to the negotiations, Leonid Slutsky, said that an understanding on the matter was reached, but the two sides’ militaries are yet to determine the details. He added that the military will soon negotiate the establishment of humanitarian corridors.
The office of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the UN will also discuss mechanisms for the coordination of humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
Ukraine’s representative in negotiations with Russia, Mikhail Podolyak, confirmed that the sides reached an understanding on the issue of establishing humanitarian corridors. He said they will be used for evacuating civilians and to ship medicine and food to the areas affected most by the fighting.
New Round of Negotiations Ahead
Russian and Ukrainian representatives met for the second round of negotiations on 3 March. The sides discussed military, international, and humanitarian matters as well as ways for a political resolution to the conflict, Medinsky said. The parties to the talks did not succeed in reaching any agreements beyond matters of establishing humanitarian corridors.
However, they agreed to meet for a third round of negotiations in the near future.
Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine on 24 February, citing the need to demilitarise Ukraine and remove dangerous weapons from its territory that threaten Russia, and to “de-Nazify” the country. President Vladimir Putin said that Russia was left with no other choice than to start the operation after Kiev failed to resolve the Donbass conflict peacefully, as per the Minsk agreements. Putin also cited Kiev threatening Russia with returning to its status as a nuclear state.
Image Credit: Sputnik News.