Russia has promised to dramatically reduce its military operations in the vicinity of Kyiv and Chernihiv in northern Ukraine, as part of peace talks. Ukraine proposes neutral status with international guarantees to defend it against attack.
According to Ukrainian negotiators, they have proposed a status where their country would not be a member of any alliances or host troops from foreign countries, but would still have its security guaranteed under terms similar to Article 5″, NATO’s collective defence clause.
They identified Turkey, Canada, Poland, and Israel as NATO members that could provide these guarantees.
According to the Ukrainian negotiators, the proposals would have a 15-year period of consultation on the status and annexation of Russian-annexed Crimea. They could only be implemented if there is a ceasefire.
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin stated that Russia had made the decision to reduce fighting near Kyiv/Chernihiv in order to facilitate dialogue.
Vladimir Medinsky, a top Russian negotiator, said that he would review the Ukrainian proposals and make a report to President Vladimir Putin.
The first face-to-face meeting between the two sides since March 10 was held in Istanbul on Tuesday. After fierce resistance, Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine on February 24, but has not been able to seize any major cities in Ukraine.
The proposals from Ukraine were some of the most concrete and detailed that Kyiv had ever made public.
Oleksander Chaly, the Ukrainian negotiator, stated that if we can consolidate these key provisions, which for us is the most fundamental of them all, then Ukraine will be able to fix its current status, as a nonbloc and nonnuclear state, in the form of permanent neutrality.
He stated that “we will not host foreign military bases or deploy military contingents on the territory” and also said that we would not enter into military-political partnerships. The guarantor nations must consent to military exercises.
According to the Ukrainian negotiators, there was enough material in their proposal for a meeting between Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Ukrainian President, and Vladimir Putin.