Russia says it will reduce military activity around Kyiv

Anh Tu, VOV’s reporter in Russia
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(VOVWORLD) - Moscow is taking two steps toward de-escalating the conflict, both militarily and politically, said Russia’s chief negotiator on Tuesday following talks with Ukraine in Istanbul.
Russia says it will reduce military activity around Kyiv - ảnh 1Russian and Ukrainian officials participate in the second round of negotiations in Brest, Belarus, on March 3, 2022. (Photo: Reuters)

Vladimir Medinsky, Russian presidential aide and chief negotiator, said the Russian delegation received proposals that the Ukrainian side wants to be included in the agreement. They will consider these proposals and report to the Russian president before delivering a response.

The Russian Defense Ministry said it will significantly reduce military activities in the vicinity of Kyiv and Chernigov to boost mutual trust and create the necessary conditions for further negotiations toward a Treaty on the Neutrality and Non-nuclear Status of Ukraine and security guarantees for Ukraine.

Following the talks, David Arakhamia, head of the Ukrainian delegation, said Ukraine has proposed to adopt a neutral status in exchange for security guarantees. This means Kyiv will not join any military alliance or allow foreign military bases to be built in Ukraine. The proposal includes a 15-year timeline of consultations between the two sides on the status of Crimea. This proposal would come into force when Russia and Ukraine reach a complete ceasefire.

Oleksandr Chaly, a member of the Ukraine delegation, said Ukraine will not allow foreign forces to be stationed on its territory or deploy military forces there, but military exercises will take place in Ukraine with the consent of the guarantor countries. Poland, Israel, Turkey and Canada could be among the potential security guarantors.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told media on Tuesday that Turkey wants Russia and Ukraine to reach a compromise and a common understanding on certain issues and said the conflict must end as soon as possible. He also said “more difficult issues” will be discussed between the Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers at a later date, and the leaders of the two countries will meet subsequently.