Vedomosti revealed the details of the Russian-Ukrainian talks

Two sources, one of which is close to the talks between Russia and Ukraine, and the other – to the presidential administration, have revealed some details of bilateral talks, writes “Vedomosti”.

The first item under discussion concerns Ukraine’s non-aligned status. After talks in Istanbul on March 29, Vladimir Medinsky, an aide to the Russian president and head of the Russian delegation, has already stated that the Ukrainian side is ready for its country’s neutral status. David Arahamiya, leader of the Servant of the People faction in the Verkhovna Rada and head of the Ukrainian negotiating team, agreed with some reservations. However, there is still no agreement on the system of guarantees of non-aligned status. Ukraine wants guarantees at the level of NATO Article 5, that is, with the promise of direct military assistance in the event of a threat. The United Kingdom has previously stated that it is ready to give guarantees to Ukraine, but not at the level described in Article 5 of NATO. On April 3, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky complained that the United States had not provided the country with “security guarantees,” apparently believing that only such a level of cooperation could be adequate for his country.

The second area of ​​discussion that the delegations of Russia and Ukraine are engaged in is demilitarization, that is, the disarmament of the Ukrainian army. The stumbling block is that the Ukrainian side wants to maintain the current number of troops, and Russia believes that the army should be several times smaller – the total number of APU should not exceed 50 thousand. man – and not have long-range weapons. Ukraine offers to focus on Finland, adjusted for the total population. That is, if in the Finnish army 21.5 thousand. 5.5 million servicemen, and 42 million in Ukraine (according to the Military Balance), and the army should be calculated on this ratio.

The third area of ​​negotiations is the political system of Ukraine. There are even more serious differences. Russia insists on the elimination of right-wing radical extremist groups from the neighboring country’s political institutions. But they are the ones who put up the most resistance to Russia and in fact have a strong influence on public administration in Ukraine.

The fourth direction of negotiations is the most difficult. It concerns the borders of Ukraine. There are no signs of compromise on this issue. The Russian delegation firmly stated that Crimea is part of the Russian Federation, and the Luhansk People’s Republic and the Democratic People’s Republic of Belarus are recognized within the borders of Luhansk and Donetsk regions. At the same time, during the special operation, there were signs of the creation of self-government bodies in the Kherson region and part of Zaporozhye. Representatives of Ukraine demand the withdrawal of troops on the line where they were on February 23.

According to most experts, the final decision will depend on the outcome of hostilities. A Vedomosti source close to the president’s office claims that all areas of the talks are interconnected and that there is no point in agreeing on a single area, as a “failed outcome in one area” will ruin the whole result.

The Russian-Ukrainian talks started on February 28, and from the very beginning the delegations were headed by Vladimir Medinsky on the Russian side and David Arahamiya on the Ukrainian side. At the initial stage, the negotiators focused on the opening of humanitarian corridors. On March 10, Russian and Ukrainian Foreign Ministers Sergei Lavrov and Dmitry Kuleba met on the sidelines of a diplomatic forum in Antalya. Russia’s special operation in Ukraine does not end during the talks. The results of negotiations often leave much to be desired, but the biggest surge in discussions in the media and society was caused by the results of the March 29 talks in Istanbul.

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