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Zelenskyy’s Chief of Staff on shaking hands with the Russian delegation

Friday, 4 March 2022, 15:34

Roman Kravets — Friday, 4 March 2022, 16:34

As a result of negotiations between the Ukrainian and Russian delegations, there are currently no documents to be signed.

Source: adviser to the Ukrainian President’s Chief of Staff and member of the Ukrainian delegation Mykhailo Podoliak, at a briefing at the Lviv Regional Administration

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Details: According to Podoliak, Russia has underestimated Ukraine and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Negotiations with the Russians are taking place in a constructive working atmosphere. However, the parties exchange mutual accusations.

Quote: "We analyse better than the Russians. You can see from the behaviour of David (Arahamia) and myself that it is not possible to talk to us from a position of intimidation.

"So, oddly enough, there was a very constructive atmosphere when we talked. There was a claim on their side, and then we made a counter-claim.

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But we do not have any final document. The reason for this is the underestimation of Mr. Zelenskyy, and of Ukraine in general, and the overconfidence of the Russians."

Details: During the briefing, journalists confronted Podoliak about shaking hands with the Russian delegation, whom the journalists called "murderers."

Podoliak said: "Let's produce a result, not play games. Let’s say, I come to the negotiations and say "Guys, you are murderers", turn around and leave. You would say, "Thank you". 

But I will have people continue to die. Let's tone down the pathos. Let's prove that we understand everything, not say, "Oh, they shook hands, it’s the end of the world." No. Do you want me to shake hands again if I get a corridor to Kharkiv to get children out? I will do it."

Background: on 3 March, the Russian and Ukrainian sides "reached an understanding" during the second round of talks on the joint provision of humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians from the sites where the fiercest fighting is taking place.

A video appeared on the Internet showing the participants shaking hands before the start of the talks.

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