Sunday, December 3, 2023

Russia-Ukraine: ‘There’s progress in peace talks’

A Russian delegate involved in peace negotiations with Ukraine has said the talks have made “substantial progress” and a “joint position” could be reached soon, the state-controlled Russian news agency RIA has reported.

Leonid Slutsky added the delegations could soon reach draft agreements.

Mr Slutsky said: “According to my personal expectations, this progress may grow in the coming days into a joint position of both delegations, into documents for signing.”

The development comes after Ukrainian negotiator and presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak also said on Sunday that he thought progress could be made in the negotiations in the coming days.

He added that the Russian side had become more constructive.

Ukraine has previously said it is willing to negotiate, but not to surrender or accept any ultimatums.

“We will not concede in principle on any positions. Russia now understands this. Russia is already beginning to talk constructively. I think that we will achieve some results literally in a matter of days,” he said in a video posted online.

Mr Podolyak also said Ukraine is working with Israel and Turkey as mediators to finalise a location and framework for peace negotiations with Russia.

“When it is worked out, there will be a meeting. I think it won’t take long for us to get there,” he said on national television.

Three rounds of talks between the two sides in Belarus, most recently last Monday, have focused mainly on humanitarian issues and led to the limited opening of some corridors for civilians to escape fighting.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday there had been some “positive shifts” in the talks, but did not elaborate.

On Saturday the Kremlin said the discussions between Russian and Ukrainian officials had been continuing “in video format”.



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