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Russia Sparks Ceasefire Hope After Kremlin Says Neutral Ukraine With Army Could Be “Compromise”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

“The talks are hard and slow-going. Of course, we would like them to proceed much faster. It is Russia’s sincere wish. We want to achieve peace as soon as possible,” Russia’s chief delegate, presidential aide Vladimir Medinsky said Wednesday. He cited “some progress” made in the talks as the invasion grinds on.

At the same time, the Kremlin cited a potential opening toward peace in the ongoing ceasefire negotiations, following President Zelensky’s insistence repeated Tuesday that “Ukraine must recognize it will not join NATO.” 

Apparently seizing upon this as a key point of compromise – which has from the start been foremost among Russia’s central security demands to NATO, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday this proposal for Ukraine to become a neutral country “could be viewed as a certain kind of compromise,” as quoted in Bloomberg.


Image: Associated Press

Bloomberg noted that “Peskov declined to provide details beyond confirming that the idea of Swedish or Austrian-style neutrality is under discussion in the talks now underway with Ukraine.”

This appears to have gained traction at the negotiating table, given that Bloomberg is reporting simultaneously the words of Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak, who is stressing that any future model of neutrality must safeguard Ukrainian sovereignty with firm security guarantees. 

“No other models or variants” and with “absolute security guarantees. Actionable, not protocol or Budapest-style,” he said. “This means that the signatories do not stand aside in case of attack against Ukraine as they do now.”

He added, as quoted in Bloomberg, “Secondly, Ukraine no longer wants to be dependent on bureaucracy that may allow or not allow” closing the sky from missiles. “We need direct and hard guarantees that the sky will be closed.”

Kiev reportedly rejected the idea of a Swedish or Austria-style neutrality…

This just ahead of Zelensky’s planned address before both chambers of US Congress on Wednesday, which is set for 9am eastern time. 

Despite this clear “opening” at the negotiations table based on neutrality, the fact that Zelensky has been pushing a no-fly zone hard in front of an international audience – and on Tuesday doing so in a virtual speech to Canadian parliament – could greatly complicated things with Moscow in terms of finding a possible diplomatic off-ramp.


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