[ Editor’s Note: We had expected Zelensky to make a move to start talks, but suspect it is a ruse to buy time to figure out a way to stabilize Ukraine militarily with Western support.
He’ll want a ceasefire from which he can walk out of at any time, and blame failed talks on Putin after NATO moves more forces into the region to be more able to help inflict more damage if the shooting were to get cranked back up.
But the good part about any talks is that with the shooting stopping, there will be less killing and destruction. There is one big hurdle, and that is the Nationalists would get a pass to out of jail to save their asses, and then as part of a deal want full immunity, which would be a bad idea, as that would waive a red flag for them to crank back up.
On the Russian side, can Putin agree to talks that end without the de-Nazification of Ukraine and no war crimes trials for them? Even if they can’t fight Russians anymore, can you imagine the chaos the Nazis can wreak by hooking up with the Blackwater types and the US putting them back to work somewhere else?
For now, like the US, NATO and the EU would certainly have their noses in the deal, there would have to be a removal of sanctions, and NATO would have to freeze troop and weapons movements.
Any attempt to gain a tactical theater advantage during talks by moving military assets around should be a deal killer. What we need to see is the whole world calling for the trials of the Nationalists for crimes against humanity.
With the UN being castrated, there is no forum to even pose such a consideration, when one would think wiping Nazis off the face of the planet would be a universally agreed goal. I would be wary of anyone objecting… Jim W. Dean ]
First published March 27, 2022
Al-Jazeera – President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that Ukraine is prepared to discuss adopting a neutral status as part of a peace deal with Russia, but the move would have to be guaranteed by third parties and put to a referendum.
“Security guarantees and neutrality, the non-nuclear status of our state. We are ready to go for it. This is the most important point,” Zelenskyy said while speaking to Russian journalists in a video call that was published by local media on Sunday, despite Moscow’s authorities warning against publication.
The president delivered his message in Russian throughout, as he has done in previous speeches when addressing a Russian audience.
He said Russia’s invasion had caused the destruction of Russian-speaking cities in Ukraine and said the damage was worse than the Russian wars in Chechnya. Ukraine was discussing the use of the Russian language in Ukraine in talks with Russia, but refused to discuss other Russian demands, such as the demilitarisation of Ukraine, he added.
Zelenskyy said a peace deal would not be possible without a ceasefire and troop withdrawals. He ruled out trying to recapture all Russian-held territory by force, saying it would lead to a third world war and said he wanted to reach a “compromise” over the eastern Donbas region, held by Russian-backed forces since 2014.
Russia’s media watchdog Roskomnadzor, though, notified Russian media “of the need to refrain from publishing the interview” in a statement, adding that it would review all media outlets that carried it in order to determine “the extent of responsibility and response measures”. It did not give a reason for its warning.
The latest effort came on Sunday in a phone conversation between Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin where the two leaders agreed to another round of talks between Kyiv and Moscow in the Turkish capital, Istanbul.
No dates were given for the meeting, but earlier in the day, Ukrainian negotiator David Arakhamia said the next negotiations between the two parties will take place in Turkey on March 28-30. A Russian negotiator confirmed that in-person talks would take place.
The first meeting between the top Ukrainian and Russian diplomats, which took place in Turkey on March 10, did not produce significant results.