Russia lowers its demands and is ready to allow Ukraine to join the European Union

Russia lowers its demands and is ready to allow Ukraine to join the European Union

The Kremlin has greatly softened its positions in negotiations for a ceasefire with Ukraine. (Illustrative image) – DIMITAR DILKOFF / AFP

A Russia that would save face by backing down from its lowest initial demand, a post-conflict Ukraine, long denied any prospect of joining NATO but surrounded by new guarantees of its security. While the fourth round of Russian-Ukrainian negotiations aimed to conclude a Cease-fire between the aggressor and the attacker It opens this Tuesday in Istanbul, and observers are beginning to hope that this new phase is the right one, as the Kremlin appears to have relaxed its initial requirements.

Anyway, this is the impression that arises from the revelation Delivered on Monday by financial times Who says he got it from four sources close to this highly sensitive file. Thus, Russia would agree to see Ukraine eventually integrate the European Union, benefit from its own security guarantees, and delay further in recognizing its territories lost in 2014 on the condition that it give up joining NATO and any development of nuclear weapons. However, nothing passes through the Russian side and Ukrainians are still afraid of being misled by interlocutors who are just trying to buy time.


Official precautions

Dynazy“Disarmament” and “nuclear disarmament”. Of the pretexts of Alpha, Beta and Omega put forward by Vladimir Putin to justify his invasion of Ukraine at dawn on February 24, only the third was available. schedule of work. financial times I was able to speak with four people in the flavor of the bilateral discussions that will know on Tuesday its fourth edition in Istanbul. And according to the echoes that the British newspaper imagines, Russia would have lost much of its luster in these negotiations, multiplying the concessions in order to preserve the certainty of Ukraine’s abandonment of NATO accession.

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“All the topics were on the table from the start but every chapter has unresolved items,” Showers but David Arachhamia, majority leader at rada member of the Ukrainian delegation and the only participant in these negotiations who agreed to waive anonymity.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Russian presidency, told Interfax news agency that there had been “no tangible progress” on the side of his leadership.

NATO without NATO?

Despite this, the tone of the Kremlin has changed based on the testimonies of these apparently conscious personalities. Vladimir Putin’s regime will cling only to Ukraine’s promises not to join NATO, to refrain from hosting a foreign military base on its territory, and to forget about any development of a military nuclear program. In contrast, the counterparties seem to be numerous.

So there is no longer any question to demand “de-Nazification” and “disarmament” of Ukraine – these absurd or unacceptable terms of how which hampered the first discussions between the belligerents, and above all would get a precious breath of oxygen for his future. Russia undertakes to prepare an agreement confirming the security and duty to assist its neighbor across the Dnieper River in the event of an attack – a document signed by it as well as France, Germany, Italy, Germany, Poland, Turkey, Israel, China … and the United States. kind of NATO Canada Dry To a large extent the proposal is similar to Article 5 of NATO which founded the international organization. Moreover, Moscow plans to forgo another crucial point, by allowing its opponent to eventually integrate the European Union.

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However, two points remain for discussion. And the first, not least: Russia continues to demand that Ukraine recognize its sovereignty over Crimea, as well as the legitimacy of the two breakaway republics of Donbas. However, the Ukrainian commissars will not recognize “limits other than those mentioned in the Declaration of Independence”, and they have already closed David Arakamia to financial times.

But good news: the obstacle will not be such as blocking the negotiations and postponing the sticking point to a later meeting between Volodymyr Zelensky and Vladimir Putin. Just like the issue of the protection of the Russian language in Ukraine, which Moscow also wants to raise.

fear of gas

In addition to this appointment remaining in the state of hypothesis, there are still two elements that encourage us to bear our problems patiently. Because even imagine that the negotiators will soon reach a mutually satisfactory agreement, it will still be necessary to take a vote in the parliaments, and then, on the Ukrainian side, ratify it by a referendum that – and repeatedly – promised to him by Volodymyr Zelensky. People.

Kyiv did not finish stretching his back. Indeed, at a time when the international community Trying to get out of addiction For Russian hydrocarbons, the smell of a potential gas plant still hangs in the air. like analysis financial timesThe confidence placed in the abruptly flowing Kremlin diplomacy is too moderate because we fear it is a delaying maneuver to buy time and recuperate before attempting to re-launch on the front.

It must be said that Russia looks here too on the back. Ukraine says it has resumed Irbine, on the outskirts of his capital, caught his enemy in Sumy in the bay, cleared Mykolaiv to the south and now aimed at the liberation of Kherson. Assurances which probably owe much to the triumph of conditions in which Ukraine has the same interest as the occupier. One thing is for sure anyway: the (healthy) military trip that Moscow dreamed of at the end of February has already faltered, 33 days later.

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