Ukraine Considers Talks With Russian Delegation
Russian government spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov said the nation is ready to send a delegation to Minsk, the capital of Belarus, for talks with Ukraine, Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti reported, which Ukraine said it is “considering.”
“As you know, today the President of Ukraine [Volodymyr] Zelensky announced his readiness to discuss the neutral status of Ukraine,” Peskov said, according to RIA.
Initially, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the purpose of the operation was to help the LPR and the DPR [Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, separatist statelets in eastern Ukraine recently recognized by Russia as independent], including through the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine. And this, in fact, is an integral component of neutral status.
Putin has called for the “denazification” of Ukraine, language that has been roundly condemned internationally, especially considering that Zelensky is Jewish.
Ukrainian presidential adviser, Oleksiy Arestovych told CNN on Friday that the Ukrainian government is “considering the proposal” to hold talks with the Russian delegation in Minsk.
In a separate video message issued soon afternoon on Friday, Zelensky called for direct talks with Putin.
This comes with Ukraine under significant pressure, as Russian forces appear to be closing in on Kyiv. They have entered the Obolon district in the north of the city, just a few miles from its centre, according to the Ukrainian defence ministry.
Zelensky has not directly proposed neutral status but has signalled a willingness to discuss it while insisting his country be provided security guarantees.
In a video message Thursday, Zelensky said;
Today we heard from Moscow what they want to talk. They want to talk about Ukraine’s neutral status. I asked all the partners of the state if they are with us. They are with us, but they are not ready to take us into an alliance with them.
We are not afraid to talk with Russia, we are not afraid to talk about everything, about security guarantees for our country. We are not afraid to talk about neutral status.