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Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs says talks at stalemate despite completion of another round

Friday, 22 April 2022, 17:55
Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs says talks at stalemate despite completion of another round

Denys Karlovskyi, Roman Kravets – Friday, 22 April 2022, 17:55

The heads of the Ukrainian and Russian negotiating delegations completed another round of talks over the past few days. At the same time, Sergey Lavrov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, claimed that the talks have allegedly reached a stalemate.

Source: Russian news agency Interfax; Davyd Arakhamia, Head of Ukraine’s negotiating delegation, in comments to Ukrainska Pravda; anonymous government official in comments to Ukrainska Pravda 

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According to Lavrov: "We were holding talks. They are currently halted because the Ukrainian negotiators have not yet responded to the offer that we submitted to them and that was drawn up in response to the comments they made available at the time.

When President Zelenskyy was asked what he thinks about the latest version of the Russian offer, he said that Ukraine hasn’t received anything. I’m not the one to judge his grasp of the situation, but this is just indicative of where the negotiating process is right now.

But until now we have been holding these talks with the Ukrainian side in a bilateral format. And within this framework, Ukraine has agreed to be a neutral, non-aligned, and non-nuclear country if it receives security guarantees from the international community.

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And as for the way Ukraine feels about these opportunities – I find it very strange to hear daily statements from Ukrainian officials of all kinds, including the president and his advisers, that they do not need these talks at all, that they have come to terms with their fate."

Details: Davyd Arakhamia confirmed in a comment to Ukrainska Pravda that another round of talks took place online on 21 and 22 April.

A high-ranking Ukrainian official told Ukrainska Pravda, on condition of anonymity, that Ukraine has issued an ultimatum to Russian negotiators that if Russian occupying forces hold a so-called "referendum" in Kherson Region, it will put an end to negotiations.

During a press briefing, Lavrov said that Russia is not part of the security guarantee negotiations and has no say over the list of countries that Ukraine envisions as its security guarantors.

In addition, when asked by a journalist about President Zelenskyy’s statement that the killing of Mariupol’s defenders by the Russian military would put an end to the talks, Lavrov said that "Russia will not tolerate ultimatums."

The Russian Foreign Affairs Minister spoke after talks with his counterpart from Kazakhstan, Mukhtar Tleuberdi. Lavrov said that he told Tleuberdy about the progress of talks with Ukraine during the official conversation.

Background:

  • On 20 April, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia had submitted its response to the proposals Ukraine made on 29 March during a face-to-face round of talks in Istanbul. He added that "the ball is in Ukraine’s court."
  • President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine responded that he plays football well and that the sport requires two teams and a ball. He explained that no draft document or written proposals from Russia had been received, which Peskov insisted Russia had submitted.
  • Despite the Kremlin’s position, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said the Russians did not trust the agreements with Ukraine.
  • American media reported that according to their sources, on 16 April the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, against whom Britain and the EU have imposed sanctions, came to Kyiv – allegedly to reach an agreement on the resumption of the negotiation process.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said on 12 April that the talks had reached a stalemate. President Zelenskyy said the war crimes committed by the Russian occupying forces against civilians in the Kyiv region and in the Azov region have reduced the chances of negotiating successfully with Russia.

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