Russia – Ukraine Peace Talks Start Afresh Today In Turkey – Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba confirmed on Monday that Turkey would host the next round of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, which started this morning.
“I hope that under Turkish mediation leadership these negotiations will bring results serving the interests of peace in Ukraine and our security,” Kuleba wrote on Twitter.
What to Expect from the 6th Round of Peace Talks
The latest round of peace talks is the sixth time that Ukrainian and Russian negotiators have sat down to discuss what it would take to end the conflict in Ukraine. So far, both sides have failed to reach agreements on the four conditions set out by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov to “immediately” end the war.
Those four conditions included the demilitarization of Ukraine, the recognition of Crimea as Russian, the recognition of Luhansk and Donetsk as independent, and a change to the Ukrainian constitution that would block the country from joining NATO.
While Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has so far accepted that his country will not be a member of NATO, there is no clear path to agreement on the three remaining issues. On Monday, Zelenskyy said that he was willing to discuss Ukraine’s neutrality to end the war “without delay” but insisted the day before that he would not sacrifice his country’s territorial integrity – indicating that he is unwilling to give up Crimea, Luhansk, and Donetsk.
Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also suggested that Russian negotiators want Ukraine to recognize Russian as the second official language of the country.
Peace Talks May Not Conclude Until War Reaches “Stalemate”
Professor Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia, discussed what we might expect from the peace talks today with NBC on Monday.
“Well, I’m glad they’re talking. It’s important to talk than not talk, but actually, I don’t think there’ll be a negotiated settlement until President Putin and President Zelenskyy actually sit down to talk. Because right now, the big questions left on the table are only ones that they can decide, and that is about neutrality for Ukraine on the one hand, but also a security guarantee for Ukraine on the other hand, including something that Russia itself would sign and codify,” he said.
Also on the cards in peace talks is whether Ukraine will recognize Crimea Russian and the question of whether Zelenskyy will allow the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk to secede from Ukraine.
McFaul also suggested that there won’t be a peace agreement until there is a stalemate in the war in Ukraine – though, with Russian troops withdrawing to the East and Russia’s deployment of private troops from the Wagner Group, that stalemate could be coming very soon.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.