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Ukraine ready to negotiate with Russia

February 25, 2022 11:53 pmby Olga Rudenko
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President Volodymyr Zelensky delivers an address to the nation in the early hours of Feb. 22, following Russia's recognition of the occupied territories of eastern Ukraine as independent states.

The leadership of Ukraine is open to negotiations with Russia and the sides are now discussing the format of the talks, according to Serhiy Nykyforov, spokesman for President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Earlier on Feb. 25, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitriy Peskov said that Ukraine offered to hold the negotiations in Warsaw, instead of Minsk, which was proposed by Russia. Then, according to Peskov, Ukraine stopped the conversation.

Nykyforov denied it and said that Ukraine was willing to negotiate, and the talks continue.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin offered Ukraine to meet in Minsk for negotiations, after launching an all-out war on the country in the early hours of Feb. 24. The Russian dictator wants Ukraine to agree to a neutrality status, that would prohibit it from ever joining NATO, which has been Ukraine's aspiration for a long time.

Zelensky said that everything would depend on the security guarantees that Ukraine can receive.

"We accepted the proposition of the Russian president (to negotiate)," wrote Nykyforov. "In these very hours the sides are discussing the place and time of the negotiations."

Russia is attacking Ukraine from several directions, and has launched an intense attack on the city of Kyiv, using airstrikes and deploying paratroopers.

The Russian invasion killed 137 Ukrainians on its first day on Feb. 24. The Ukrainian government said that over 1,000 Russian troops were killed on the first day, and added that it was the highest number of battlefield casualties that modern Russia has ever sustained in one day.

Olga Rudenko
Author: Olga Rudenko

Olga Rudenko is the chief editor of the Kyiv Independent, an award-winning media start-up launched in November 2021 by the former editorial team of the Kyiv Post. Olga is the former deputy chief editor of the Kyiv Post. She has written for global publications, and was a fellow at the Chicago Booth School of Business in 2021.

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