No “breakthroughs” with Ukraine after Zelensky’s offer to end the war

On Monday, the Russian government said it saw no significant progress towards ending the war in Ukraine, despite recent offers of compromise and ongoing face-to-face diplomatic negotiations.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a statement to Russia’s state-run TASS news agency that he could not speculate on progress towards ending the conflict in Ukraine at this time. However, he noted that the mere fact that a new round of face-to-face talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegates is about to begin is a positive sign.

“We cannot and do not want to speculate on progress at this time, but the very decision to move forward with face-to-face talks is important, of course,” Peskov said. “At this time, we prefer to follow a policy of not disclosing any details of the talks. We believe that otherwise we could harm the negotiation process.”

“Unfortunately, we cannot say that there have been any significant achievements or breakthroughs so far,” Peskov added.

Russian officials recently said they could not confirm progress towards ending the conflict in Ukraine had been made. Above, Ukrainian soldiers from the 92nd Mechanized Brigade use tanks, self-propelled guns and other armored vehicles to conduct live-fire exercises near the town of Chuguev, Ukraine.
Sergei Bobok/AFP via Getty Images

On Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky offered to end the conflict in his country through compromise and diplomacy. Speaking to Russian independent media via Zoom, Zelensky suggested that Russian forces retake the position they held in the disputed Donbass region before the invasion. At this stage, talks could begin between diplomats to resolve “the complex question of Donbass”.

“I understand that it is impossible to force Russia to completely liberate the territory, this will lead to World War III,” Zelensky said. “I fully understand everything and am aware of [this]. That’s why I say: it’s a compromise. Go back to where it all began, and there we will try to solve the Donbass issue, the complex Donbass issue.”

The peace talks mentioned by Peskov are expected to take place soon in Istanbul, Turkey. He was unable to give a specific timeline, but said talks were unlikely to start on Monday.

“The delegation is leaving for Turkey today, Peskov added. “We expect that theoretically it could happen [Tuesday]…Face-to-face meetings allow for more focused, close and meaningful discussions.”

In his weekend interview, Zelensky also said he was prepared to consider some Russian demands in return for a withdrawal from Ukraine, including the country declaring neutral status. He noted, however, that he would only do so following a referendum and with third-party assurance of Ukraine’s security.

Newsweek contacted Ukrainian officials for comment, but did not hear back before publication.


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