Putin says he hopes to reach diplomatic deal with Ukraine

Russian President said that negotiations are continuing in a meeting with UN Secretary General António Guterres

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that “expects to reach agreements” with Ukraine “through a diplomatic channel”. Negotiations between the countries continue in a online and he expects them to produce a “positive result”he added.

The statements were made by the Russian leader this Tuesday (26.Apr.2022) during a meeting with the Secretary General of the UN (United Nations), António Guterres. Earlier, the Secretary-General met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

According to Putin, Ukraine and Russia have achieved a “great breakthrough” in negotiations after meeting in Istanbul, Turkey on March 29. But due to reports of civilian deaths by Russian forces in Bucha, the situation has changed. “drastically”he said.

“They [a Ucrânia] departed from their previous intentions of leave aside the issues of security guarantees and the territories of Crimea, Sevastopol and the Donbass republics. They just gave up on it.”he said.

The Russian president’s statement addresses proposals for a ceasefire from the war, announced during negotiations in Turkey.

At the time, Ukrainian negotiators stated that the country was open to adopting the status neutral and give up its entry into NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). He also agreed not to host foreign military bases on Ukrainian territory.

Ukraine, however, presented a condition: it asked that the security of the country be guaranteed. For this, he wants a collective defense agreement to be established, similar to the one that exists in NATO.

Ukraine also agreed to discuss the situation in Crimea, a peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014, which is home to the city of Sevastopol.

Earlier, Lavrov said Russia is committed to a diplomatic solution through talks with the Ukrainian government.

Also after the meeting between Guterres and Lavrov, the Secretary-General stated that he was ready to mobilize UN resources for the evacuation of civilians from Mariupol.

The proposal concerns a coordinated work of the UN with the International Committee of the Red Cross and Ukrainian and Russian forces to allow “the safe evacuation of civilians who want to leave” the Azovstal steel mill and the city “in whichever direction they choose”.

In a UN statement released on Tuesday, Putin said he had agreed. “at first” with the participation of the UN and the Red Cross in the evacuation of civilians from the region.

“Further discussions will be held with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the Russian Ministry of Defense”he said

DISTANCE

The meeting between Vladimir Putin and António Guterres was also marked by the use of the famous oval table at least 6 meters long. The Russian leader and the secretary-general each sat at one end.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and UN Secretary General António Guterres (right) at a table measuring at least 6 meters

The distanced treatment was the same offered to French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz during their visits to discuss escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine. The meetings took place in early February, when the war had not yet started.

At the time, the table was used because Macron and Scholz refused to test for covid-19. Regarding the UN Secretary General, the reason for the distance between him and Putin was not disclosed.

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