Press TV, Istanbul
Peace will have no losers, and a prolonged conflict is not in anyone’s interest, this is how Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan opened the face-to-face Russian-Ukrainian negotiations in Istanbul on Tuesday.
Erdogan sounded optimistic as he assured Turkey’s readiness to host a meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents whom both he referred to as “valuable friends”.
A Ukrainian negotiator told reporters that they made a series of proposals during the talks to the Russian delegation which included a demand from Ukraine to have eight countries as guarantors including Turkey, while Ukraine can guarantee not having foreign military bases meaning it would not join military alliances.
Ukraine’s proposal also includes a 15-year consultation period on the status of annexed Crimea, however, it could only come into force in case of a complete ceasefire.
Meanwhile, the Russian negotiator said they will convey Ukraine’s suggestions to the Russian president, while describing the talks as “constructive”. Medinsky later said, during the talks with the Ukrainian delegation, that Russia is not against Ukraine joining the EU. The Russian delegation said a meeting between Putin and Zelensky would only be possible if a deal was sealed by the foreign ministers of the two countries.
Meanwhile, the Russian defense ministry announced a suspension of all operations around Kiev and Chernihiv after the meeting.
Today’s meeting was considered constructive, as it will pave the way for deeper negotiations between the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Russia and hopefully reaching an agreement on a complete ceasefire.