The second round of negotiations between Russia and Ukraine on the Russian invasion began this Thursday in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, in the Belarusian region of Brest, near the Polish border, the Belarusian agency BELTA reported.
The agency publishes a photo with the delegations shaking hands and in the background the flags of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Mykhailo Podoliak, adviser to the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, explained that his delegation had begun negotiations with Russian representatives.
“We started talking with Russian representatives. The key issues on the agenda: 1. Immediate ceasefire; 2. Truce; 3. Humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians from destroyed or constantly bombed towns/cities,” Podoliak wrote on Twitter.
Negotiations have started three hours late compared to the time scheduled by the Russian side. The new negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, when the eighth day of the war is completed, were to begin around 12:00 GMT, as reported by the head of the Russian delegation, Vladimir Medinski, who referred to “the complexity of the logistics from the Ukrainian side, which meets in Poland and then comes here, to the Brest region in Belarus”. As happened in the first round of negotiations, on February 28, the Ukrainian representatives arrived at the meeting in informal olive green clothes and the Russian delegation again in formal suits.
“We are prepared for negotiations, we are open for diplomacy, but we are by no means prepared to accept Russian ultimatums,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba said yesterday. Medinski said on Wednesday that at the first meeting of the delegations, which was held on February 28, “some Russian proposals” related to an “immediate ceasefire” were discussed.
He added that on some of them, “in general, there was an understanding at the negotiating table”, but on others, “as expected, the Ukrainian side took time for reflections and consultations in Kiev”. Russia demands “the demilitarization and denazification” of Ukraine, as well as the recognition of Russian sovereignty over the Crimean peninsula, annexed in 2014, and the independence of the people’s republics of eastern Ukraine, as well as a neutral status of Ukraine with regarding NATO.