Observers and experts warn that the Russian “special” military operation in the Ukrainian lands will turn at any moment into the spark of a third world war that will not remain or erupt.
Ukraine’s presidential adviser, Mikhailo Podolyak, told Reuters in a text message on Monday that talks between Ukraine and Russia had already begun, at a site on the border with Belarus.
Ukraine had said earlier that its delegation had arrived at the Belarusian border, with the aim of holding talks with the Russian side to end the war. The Ukrainian president’s office said: “The main objective of the talks with Russia is an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian forces.”
The Ukrainian delegation includes Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov and Adviser to the President’s Office Mikhail Podolak, according to the Russian “TASS” news agency.
Prior to that, Belarus confirmed that it was ready to host the scheduled negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, on the fifth day of the attack launched by Moscow.
“The venue for talks between Russia and Ukraine in Belarus is ready, and we are waiting for the delegations of the two countries,” the Belarusian Foreign Ministry said on Facebook.
The ministry attached the publication with a picture of the negotiating room, showing a long table and the flags of the three countries in the background, and these developments come after the Russian negotiator and Kremlin adviser Vladimir Medinsky said that Moscow wants to reach an “agreement” with Kyiv.
“The longer the conflict lasts for an additional hour, the more Ukrainian citizens and soldiers will die,” Medinsky told Russian television. “We agreed to reach an agreement, but it should be in the interest of both sides.”
Commenting on the expected scenarios for the course of these negotiations and what will result from them, Imad Abu Al-Rub, head of the Ukrainian Center for Communication and Dialogue, told “Sky News Arabia”: “(The negotiations) come within the framework of everyone’s need to get out of this global crisis, towards prospects for a solution and to demonstrate the desire for peace. And the bloodshed, and whoever withdraws from these negotiations, which is the last chance to stop this destructive war, exposes himself completely before the international community of legal and moral obligations, because this negotiating table is the key to stopping the blood and establishing peace, on the basis of reaching compromise solutions that satisfy both parties.
Moscow tried to resolve the crisis militarily, but it was unable to do so, according to Abu al-Rub, who adds: “Europe showed a unified and solid position to support Ukraine to the point of allowing its citizens to join the battle fronts with the Ukrainians against the Russians, as well as its huge military aid to Kiev, and this is what we have not even seen during World War II.”
And the head of the Ukrainian Center for Communication and Dialogue continues: “If the negotiations do not yield positive results, this means that we will be facing an imminent disaster, between the steadfastness of Ukraine in defense of the country and a massive Russian attack on it to protect Russia’s national security, as Moscow says.”
For his part, Khalil Azima, an academic and political researcher, told Sky News Arabia: “Since the early morning there has been relative calm in Kyiv and there is great optimism and reliance on the negotiations with Russia, and we hope that they will be crowned with success. He accepted Moscow by re-presenting its impossible conditions, and to say that Kyiv caused the collapse of the negotiations, and to go back to its war, which despite all its huge military build-up, but in general it did not achieve its goals on the ground as planned.
Azima added in his interview with Sky News Arabia: “Here, Moscow’s agreement to a compromise solution regarding the venue for these negotiations on the borders between Ukraine and Belarus, after Kyiv refused to hold them in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, is a positive indication of its desire to launch negotiations and not obstruct them.”
He continues: “If Russia is serious for the negotiations to succeed, it must recognize Ukraine’s sovereignty over its territory and return to the Minsk agreements on the problem of the Donbass region, and the main condition for Kiev will be the immediate withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine and the declaration of a cessation of war on it.”
In order to reach a peaceful solution and stop the war, it is possible that Kyiv would agree to declare itself a militarily neutral state between Moscow and NATO, as Azim predicts.
He added, “The settlement may be in the following form, for Moscow to accept Kyiv’s accession to the European Union in exchange for a pledge not to join NATO, and this is in fact better for Ukraine, but of course the decision remains in the hands of Russian President Putin, but the general interest of Russia, Ukraine and the world as a whole, is In making these negotiations successful in any way and stopping this dangerous war, will rationality overcome arrogance in Moscow?