At the end of its talks with Russia, Ukraine demanded that countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, pledge to defend their neutrality in the event of an attack.
Ukraine’s chief negotiator pointed out after several hours of Russian-Ukrainian talks in Istanbul on Tuesday that Ukraine would agree to remain neutral if it received an “international agreement” to guarantee its security.
Following the talks, the chief negotiator, David Arakamiya, described the conditions for the summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian Volodymyr Zhelensky as “sufficient”. Since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, Moscow has always denied such a plan from kyiv.
“We insist this is an international agreement, which will be signed by all security guarantors,” David Aragamia told a news conference. “We want an international mechanism for security guarantees to be implemented by countries that guarantee in a manner more consistent with NATO’s Section 5,” he added. Article 5 of the Atlantic Treaty Agreement states that an attack on one of its members is an attack on all.
David Arakamiya was quoted as saying that among the countries where Ukraine wants to be guaranteed are the United States, China, France and the United Kingdom – members of the UN Security Council – but also Turkey, Germany, Poland and Israel.
Ukraine should not be barred from entering the EU
“Ukraine will accept neutrality if the security guarantee system is in place,” he added. With such assurances, Ukraine “will not establish any foreign military base within (its) borders” and will not join “any military-political alliance,” another negotiator, Olexandre Tchaly, underlined. He noted, however, that military exercises in Ukraine could be arranged with the agreement of guaranteed countries.
Kiev said the international agreement did not in any way preclude Ukraine from entering the EU, and called on guaranteed countries to contribute to the process. David Aragamia said the guarantees would come into effect as soon as possible, with Crimea and pro-Russian separatist-held Donbass territories being “temporarily excluded” from the agreement.
According to another Ukrainian negotiator, Mykhaïlo Podoliak, kyiv is proposing “15 years” of separate Russian-Ukrainian talks to resolve the specific problem of Crimea annexed by Russia in 2014.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu hailed the “most significant progress since the talks began” after three hours of talks between Russia and Ukraine in Istanbul on Tuesday. “From now on, the foreign ministers of the two countries will meet to resolve the most difficult issues,” he added. The Minister clarified that the Istanbul meeting was over. It “will not start again tomorrow,” he said on Wednesday. AFP
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