The third round of talks between Russia and Ukraine ended in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The meeting lasted for about three hours. TASS.
The meeting in the Brest region of Belarus began at almost 18:00, although it was originally planned to start at 15:00. The head of the Russian delegation, Vladimir Medinsky, called the delay in negotiations a “diplomatic tradition” of the Ukrainian side. At the end of the meeting, the Ukrainian negotiators flew away on military helicopters of the Polish Air Force.
The Kremlin outlined the requirements for Kiev
The press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, clearly outlined the requirements for Kiev. According to him, Ukraine should recognize Crimea as Russian, as well as the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DNR and LNR). In addition, Kyiv must amend the constitution and renounce claims to “join any bloc.”
According to him, if these conditions are met, Moscow is ready to stop the special operation in Ukraine at any time.
They were told that it could be stopped at any moment.
Disagreements over the routes of humanitarian corridors
From 10:00 am on March 7, the Russian Armed Forces declared a regime of silence and opened humanitarian corridors for civilians wishing to leave Kyiv, Mariupol, Kharkov and Sumy. On the same day, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Irina Vereshchuk called unacceptable the proposed by Moscow version of the gum corridors, which involved the evacuation of residents to the territory of Belarus and Russia. The politician read out the route proposed by Kiev, according to which civilians were supposed to leave for Ukrainian settlements.
In turn, the Russian Defense Ministry stated that the humanitarian corridors were under fire from the Ukrainian military and nationalist battalions. The official representative of the Russian Ministry of Defense, Major General Igor Konashenkov, also said that in Mariupol, the national battalions are deploying firing points in houses with inscriptions “Do not shoot – children are here.”
After the talks, Medinsky expressed hope that the humanitarian corridors would start working from Tuesday, March 8. According to him, the Ukrainian side gave assurances of this. The representative of Moscow also noted that Russia raised the issue of opening them point-blank during negotiations with Ukraine.
The parties assessed the completed round of negotiations
Assessing the dialogue that took place, Medinsky said that there was no serious progress. “Our expectations in the negotiations did not come true,” he said. The diplomat added that the negotiations would continue in the future, and also hoped that in the future the parties would be able to take “a more significant step forward.”
Nevertheless, Medinsky said that the Ukrainian delegation took the documents brought by Russia “home” for study. He explained that the Russian side arrived with a large set of documents: specific agreements, projects and proposals. “We hoped that today it would be possible to sign at least a protocol on some of the points on which it seems to have already been agreed upon in principle, but the Ukrainian side took all these documents home for study, and could not sign something on the spot,” he added. The Russian representative stressed that the Kyiv delegation promised to return to this issue at the next meeting.
Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine, announced some positive progress in improving the logistics of humanitarian corridors. According to a member of the Ukrainian delegation, intensive consultations with Moscow continued on the main political block of the settlement, along with a ceasefire and security guarantees.
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