According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the conditions for a ceasefire in Ukraine are not yet ripe, said Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, commenting on the results of telephone talks with his Russian counterpart the day before.
I have expressed my conviction that a meeting with the President is needed to unravel some of the major “knots”. [Украины Владимиром] Zelensky, about which, moreover, he has been asking almost since the beginning of the war. The answer was: the time has not yet come, we need negotiators to move forward, “Draghi explained during a meeting with members of the Foreign Press Association in Rome (quoted by RIA Novosti).
During a conversation with Draghi, the Russian leader noted that the conditions for a ceasefire are “not yet ripe.” According to the prime minister, Putin told him that “small steps forward have been made in the talks.” “The most important thing now, I said, is to demonstrate that the desire for peace exists, with even a brief ceasefire,” Draghi concluded.
Following the Russian-Ukrainian talks in Istanbul on March 29, the Ukrainian side submitted written proposals to Russia for a peace agreement. In particular, Kyiv offered Ukraine’s neutral status in exchange for international security guarantees. In addition, Ukraine proposed to abandon the armed method of resolving the issue of the status of Crimea and Sevastopol and to hold bilateral talks on this issue for 15 years. It is proposed to solve the problems of Donetsk and Luhansk regions separately, through a personal meeting of the presidents of the two countries.
According to the head of the delegation, Vladimir Medinsky, the Russian side will take two retaliatory steps at this stage. The first of which is the gradual de-escalation in the Kiev and Chernihiv areas, and the second step concerns the possibility of holding a meeting between the presidents of the two countries “at the time of initialing the prepared agreement by foreign ministers.”
Earlier today, the press secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov did not specify the time frame of a possible meeting between Putin and Zelensky. According to him, the talks of the heads of state should be preceded by the completion of the agreement between Moscow and Kiev.
On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Donbass and Ukraine. Putin called the protection of the population of Donbass, as well as the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine, the goal. On March 2, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that the Russian military was eliminating “a threat that until recently came from Ukraine.” In particular, according to the ministry, NATO bases and nuclear weapons were to appear in the republic in the near future.