War in Ukraine: de-escalation will not happen soon

Ukraine has said it is ready to sign agreements on security guarantees only after the withdrawal of Russian troops.

Serhiy Kislitsa, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN, noted, as he writes TASSthat the parties to the Russian-Ukrainian talks will continue consultations on the preparation of an agreement on providing Ukraine with security guarantees. However, its signing is possible only after the withdrawal of Russian troops to the positions on February 23, Kislitsa said on Tuesday at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council. The diplomat explained:

“We are talking about a mechanism for introducing a ceasefire regime, the withdrawal of troops and other armed formations, the safe functioning of humanitarian corridors on an ongoing basis, as well as the exchange of the dead, the release of prisoners of war and civilians. The signing of an agreement on security guarantees will be possible only after the return of all Russian armed formations positions as of February 23, 2022”.

According to the permanent representative, the de-escalation and establishment of a ceasefire in Ukraine will not happen as quickly as we would like:

“The talks in Istanbul show that Russia may be ready to move forward, but there is still a long way to go towards a sustainable ceasefire and comprehensive de-escalation.”

The first day of the fourth round ended in Istanbul on Tuesday negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. A statement on its results was made by the assistant to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Medinsky. According to him, the Russian Federation received proposals from the Ukrainian side to conclude a peace treaty:

Negotiations with the Ukrainian side were constructive, we received proposals for inclusion in the agreement, they will be considered in the near future. For my part, I can say that we are taking two steps towards de-escalating the conflict.

The parties agreed to discuss the issues of Crimea and Donbass separately. The Ukrainian side proposed the following scheme:

  • negotiations on the status of Crimea and Sevastopol will go on for 15 years, the parties refuse to use armed methods to resolve this issue;
  • the question of the status and fate of the regions controlled by the so-called “people’s republics” has been placed in a separate paragraph, it can be discussed by the presidents of the two countries at a personal meeting;
  • Ukraine is ready to agree to a non-bloc status of a non-nuclear country in the presence of clear and strict guarantees from a number of countries. This must be documented;
  • the previous paragraph (if an agreement on it is reached) actually provides that foreign military bases and military contingents will not be deployed on the territory of Ukraine;
  • Ukraine undertakes not to enter into any military-political alliances. International military exercises on the territory of Ukraine can be held only with the consent of the guarantor countries.

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