Ukraine and Russia suspended the peace talks
17 May, 2022

Ukraine and Russia suspended peace talks. Moscow says that Ukraine withdrew from the talks, Kyiv assures that Russia's perception of the events is not adequate.

This was stated by Andrei Rudenko, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, quoted by RIA Novosti, and Mykhailo Podolyak, Adviser to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, in a comment to hromadske.

Rudenko says that Ukraine has withdrawn from the negotiation process, so now it is suspended. The official assures that Moscow also did not receive a response from Kyiv to its draft agreement.

Podolyak confirmed that the negotiation process had indeed been suspended. He explains that Russia's perception of the invasion-related events happening in the world is not quite adequate. Secondly, the Kremlin wants to use the talks as a tool for propaganda for its domestic policy. "Hence all these blackmail comments in the public space about the negotiations," Podolyak said.

"Russia probably wants to see all the packages of international economic sanctions in action and finally understand the real 'combat capability' of the Russian army and lose the remnants of the reputation of world monster we ought to be afraid of. Okay. The strategic goal is clear. There is no point in preventing the fall of this 'empire with a barbaric inside," says the adviser. He added that, "if speaking seriously," the mandate to continue negotiations for the Ukrainian negotiating team is agreed only by President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Podolyak also reminded that resuming negotiations will depend on the evacuation of defenders from Azovstal and the situation in Kherson Oblast.

On April 24, in a press conference in Kyiv subway station, President Volodymyr Zelensky stressed that Ukraine would withdraw from any negotiation process with Russia if "our people in Mariupol are destroyed if there will be a pseudo-referendum in Kherson."

Negotiations with Russia

Ukraine has been negotiating with Russian officials since the first days of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. In particular, at the talks in Istanbul on March 29, the Ukrainian delegation conveyed to Russia its vision of an international document that would fix security guarantees for Ukraine in exchange for non-aligned status. The key requirement is that Ukraine's security guarantees should be similar to NATO's Article 5, which says that an attack on any Allies members is seen as an attack on all members.

This agreement could be a diplomatic option to end the war. Then the procedure was proposed as follows: withdrawal of troops, holding a referendum on Ukraine rejecting NATO course, ratification of the agreement by the security guarantors and Ukraine.

Representatives of TurkeyItaly, and Germany said they were ready to become guarantors. However, they are in no hurry to make public promises to commit to the use of force if necessary.

Thus, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu stated that not only Turkey but also the US, the UK, and Canada are not ready to give guarantees based on NATO Article 5. The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson clarified that he sees these guarantees only through the provision of weapons, training of the Ukrainian military, and the exchange of intelligence.