Russian-Ukrainian talks show first signs of progress

Sarhan Basem

Belgium (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The Russian-Ukrainian negotiations ended on a surprisingly positive note on Sunday, with diplomats from both sides indicating that the talks could yield concrete results in days.

“Russia is already beginning to talk constructively”, Ukrainian negotiator Myhkailo Podolyak declared in an online video on Sunday. “I think that we will achieve some results literally in a matter of days.” Podolyak insisted that Ukraine “will not concede in principle on any positions”, and said that “Russia now understands this.”

On the Russian side, Moscow’s delegate Leonid Slutsky told Russia’s RIA news agency that the talks had made substantial progress. “According to my personal expectations, this progress may grow in the coming days into a joint position of both delegations, into documents for signing”, he said.

Belgium (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The Russian-Ukrainian negotiations ended on a surprisingly positive note on Sunday, with diplomats from both sides indicating that the talks could yield concrete results in days.

“Russia is already beginning to talk constructively”, Ukrainian negotiator Myhkailo Podolyak declared in an online video on Sunday. “I think that we will achieve some results literally in a matter of days.” Podolyak insisted that Ukraine “will not concede in principle on any positions”, and said that “Russia now understands this.”

On the Russian side, Moscow’s delegate Leonid Slutsky told Russia’s RIA news agency that the talks had made substantial progress. “According to my personal expectations, this progress may grow in the coming days into a joint position of both delegations, into documents for signing”, he said.

Neither side was willing to provide any details on a compromise position that might be emerging. Last week, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukraine could “discuss and find a compromise on how these territories will live on”, in reference to the breakaway areas of Luhansk and Donetsk, as well as to the Moscow-annexed Crimea peninsula.

On Friday, Russia’s President Putin also noted that there had been some “positive shifts”, implying that the Kremlin might also be turning more towards a compromise, diplomatic solution to the conflict.

The talks between the two sides are set to continue today, in negotiations reportedly taking place via videolink. President Zelensky continues to insist that real progress can be made only if there is a direct negotiation between himself and President Putin, the goal of the Ukrainian negotiators now being to arrange such a meeting.

Neither side was willing to provide any details on a compromise position that might be emerging. Last week, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukraine could “discuss and find a compromise on how these territories will live on”, in reference to the breakaway areas of Luhansk and Donetsk, as well as to the Moscow-annexed Crimea peninsula.

On Friday, Russia’s President Putin also noted that there had been some “positive shifts”, implying that the Kremlin might also be turning more towards a compromise, diplomatic solution to the conflict.

The talks between the two sides are set to continue today, in negotiations reportedly taking place via videolink. President Zelensky continues to insist that real progress can be made only if there is a direct negotiation between himself and President Putin, the goal of the Ukrainian negotiators now being to arrange such a meeting.

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Sarhan Basem is Brussels Morning's Senior Correspondent to the European Parliament. With a Bachelor's degree in English Literature, Sarhan brings a unique blend of linguistic finesse and analytical prowess to his reporting. Specializing in foreign affairs, human rights, civil liberties, and security issues, he delves deep into the intricacies of global politics to provide insightful commentary and in-depth coverage. Beyond the world of journalism, Sarhan is an avid traveler, exploring new cultures and cuisines, and enjoys unwinding with a good book or indulging in outdoor adventures whenever possible.