Russians and Ukrainians sit down to negotiate again this Monday. This time, it will not be at the Belarusian border, nor will they shake hands at the meeting. The new round of bilateral negotiations will take place by videoconference, something that according to the Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelenski, they have been doing continuously for days. The main objective will once again be to achieve a ceasefire, while the escalation of the conflict continues to grow after the bombing this weekend of a military installation very close to the border with Poland and due to the alleged military and economic aid requested from China by of Moscow, something that China denies.
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Both the Russians and the Ukrainians have dropped in recent days that the climate of the negotiations has somewhat improved. “Comparing the positions of the Russian and Ukrainian sides at the beginning of the negotiations and today, we can talk about significant progress,” said the head of the International Affairs Committee of the Russian Duma (Lower House) and a member of the Russian delegation. in the peace negotiations, Leonid Slutski, according to Russian agencies.
For his part, Ukraine’s main negotiator and presidential adviser, Mikhail Podoliak, has acknowledged that Russia has abandoned the “ultimatums” and is “listening” to his proposals, saying prior to the meeting that there is “understanding and dialogue”.
Speaking to the Russian newspaper Kommersant, Podoliak has said that Russia is analyzing the situation “in a much more appropriate way”.
Neither of the two negotiators has wanted to specify requests in public. Until now it was known that Russia was demanding that Ukraine recognize the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, forget about its aspirations over Crimea and promise that it would never join NATO, demands that are unacceptable in principle for Ukraine.
For his part, the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, has stated through a video on Telegram that the objective of the Ukrainian delegation in the negotiations with Russia is to achieve a meeting with its president, Vladimir Putin.
After saying that representatives of both countries spoke every day through videoconferences, he added that the objective was to obtain effective guarantees for peace and security.
“Our delegation has a clear task: to do everything possible to hold a meeting of presidents, a meeting that, I am sure, people are waiting for,” Zelensky stressed in the statements, also collected by Russian agencies.