Intensive consultations between Russia, Ukraine in Istanbul

Istanbul, March 29 (IANS) During the talks between the Ukrainian and Russian delegations in Istanbul, the parties discussed an agreement on international security guarantees for Ukraine, a ceasefire and the resolution of humanitarian issues in Ukraine.
Adviser to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Mykhailo Podoliak at an interim briefing in Turkey said: “Intensive consultations are underway on several important issues. The key one is the agreement on international security guarantees for Ukraine. Only with this agreement can we end the war as Ukraine needs it. An equally important issue is the ceasefire so that we can address the humanitarian problems that have accumulated”, Ukrayinska Pravda reported.
Podoliak added that “today we have another problem, it is getting bigger and bigger — the problem of escalating war, escalating hatred, escalating violations of rules of warfare not only on the battlefield”.
According to him, calls are sometimes being made on air to destroy certain nations; the Geneva Convention on prisoners of war is also being violated.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine will ensure that the rights of Russian prisoners of war are not violated and expect the same from the Russian side.
Podoliak stressed that both sides must abide by the conventions and stop violating them.
The Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba stated that the Ukrainian delegation at the talks with Russia in Turkey does not plan to discuss the referendum.
Sources in The Financial Times reported that Russia had allegedly withdrawn its demands on Ukraine regarding “de-Nazification”, “demilitarization” and the status of the Russian language in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Russia has agreed to meet Kiev half-way and will allow a meeting of its leaders to be held on the same day that the final version of a peace treaty is pre-approved by the two nation’s foreign ministers, Moscow’s top negotiator said on Tuesday, after a new round of talks in Istanbul.
Vladimir Medinsky described the talks in Turkey as “constructive” and said his delegation had received a clearly outlined position on what Kiev sought to achieve. The written proposal, which includes Ukraine’s pledge to remain a neutral nation and that it will not try to obtain any weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, will be relayed to Putin, he said.

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