Ukraine says Russia talks focus on ceasefire, troop withdrawals and security guarantees

FILE PHOTO: Ukraine’s presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak from the Ukrainian delegation speaks after the talks in the Gomel region, Belarus February 28, 2022. Sergei Kholodilin/BelTA/Handout via REUTERS

LVIV, Ukraine (Reuters) – The fourth round of talks between Ukraine and Russia on Monday will focus on achieving a ceasefire, troop withdrawals and security guarantees for Ukraine, one of the Ukrainian negotiators Mykhailo Podolyak said.

Ukraine’s position remained unchanged in insisting on a ceasefire before talks on future relations could happen, he said in a social media post and accompanying video.

“Negotiations. 4th round. On peace, ceasefire, immediate withdrawal of troops & security guarantees. Hard discussion,” he wrote, adding that he believed Russia “still has a delusion that 19 days of violence against (Ukrainian) peaceful cities is the right strategy.”

Russia denies targeting civilians. The Kremlin describes its actions as a “special operation” to demilitarise and “deNazify” Ukraine. Ukraine and Western allies call this a baseless pretext for a war of choice.

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