Russian-Ukrainian talks end with ellipsis

“We have found the points where common positions can be forecasted and, most importantly, we have agreed to continue the talks”

Russian-Ukrainian talks end with ellipsis
Photo: Russian Embassy in Belarus

Russian-Ukrainian talks were held five days after Russia’s President Vladimir Putin announced the beginning of a special military operation in Donbas whose goal he called “the protection of people who have been subjected to humiliation, genocide of the Kyiv regime for eight years.” The talks were going to be held as early as 27 February. The Russian delegation arrived in Gomel (Belarus) on 28 February.

However, it was not possible to hold the meeting — Russia gave Ukraine time to think until 3 p.m. but didn’t receive a reply by this time. It was received only some time later — Kyiv agreed to hold the talks in Gomel Oblast.

The meeting ended more than five hours later at 2 p.m. on 28 February. It included three rounds, as RIA Novosti said citing its source.

There is no full stop yet. Another round of Russian-Ukrainian talks is ahead, the Polish-Belarusian border was chosen as the site, said head of the Russian delegation, Aide to the Russian president Vladimir Medinsky. It is scheduled to take place in the next few days. The exact date isn’t named.

“The talks with the Ukrainian side that lasted about five hours have ended. During this time, we have discussed all items on the agenda in detail, found some points where common positions can be forecasted and, most importantly, we agreed to continue the talks. The next meeting will be in the next few days on the Polish-Belarusian border, there is a corresponding agreement. Before this time, each delegation, the management of each of the delegations will consult the administration of the country on all items of the talk,” Medinsky commented on the meeting on 28 February.

Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makey said that the new meeting of Russia and Ukraine would be “in a few days”:

“The fact that, hopefully, a meeting will be held on the Belarusian-Polish border speaks for itself,” RIA Novosti cites him.

Another member of the Russian delegation, head of the State Duma’s Committee for International Affairs Leonid Slutsky said that the sides discussed ceasefire, demilitarisation and “other issues on the agenda.”

“But let’s not discuss certain results, the sides need to consult them in the capitals, I can say the discussion was very detailed, we worked for more than five years. Now it is necessary to consult, indeed, in Moscow and Kyiv. It is important that the sides hear each other. It is the main result of the talks today, the foundation without which it would be impossible to say this format took place but it did. The second round is about to come. Indeed, every day is crucial today, therefore we are in contact with the Ukrainian delegation in the format of talks. We will analyse it with our administration today at night, not even tomorrow, when we return to Moscow and we will be ready to continue the work in this format if Kyiv is ready. I personally express my hope that this format will turn out effective,” Slutsky claimed.

The other side also commented on the results of the talks:

“The Ukrainian and Russian delegations have had the first round of talks today, their main goal was to discuss ceasefire on the territory of Ukraine and military actions. The sites determined a number of priority themes where certain decisions have been outlined. To make sure these solutions are used logistically, the sides go to their capitals for consultation. Also, the sides discussed the possibility of the second round of talks soon where these themes will specifically develop,” Adviser to the head of the Ukrainian president’s office Mykhailo Podolyak told journalists after the talks.

However, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine already claimed he didn’t really believe in the success of the talks. But according to him, they needed to try. He thinks it is a chance, though slim.

At the same time, Russian leader Vladimir Putin has already repeatedly said that Russia is always ready for dialogue with Ukraine, open for talks. According to him, the situation can be regulated under three conditions: firstly, undoubtedly considering Russia’s legal interests in safety, secondly, recognition of Russian sovereignty over Crimea, thirdly, considering the tasks of demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine and providing it a neutral status. At the moment, Russia’s special operation in Ukraine goes on. Realnoe Vremya is staying tuned for the events.

Tatiana Dyomina