| 1 March 2024, Friday |

Russia-Ukraine talks make some progress on corridors, Kyiv says

A third round of talks between Russian and Ukrainian representatives finished on Monday, with Kyiv claiming some progress on humanitarian corridors.

After the negotiations in Belarus, Kyiv’s presidential advisor Mikhailo Podolyak tweeted, “We have accomplished some tiny positive outcomes about the logistics of humanitarian corridors.”

He said “intense” consultations on the fundamental concerns of negotiating a truce in Ukraine’s war had resumed.

“Our expectations from negotiations were not fulfilled,” Russia’s lead negotiator Vladimir Medinsky said in a televised statement.

“We expect to be able to take a more significant step ahead next time,” he continued.

Medinsky expressed optimism that civilian evacuation routes might open on Tuesday, but cautioned that it was too soon to say for sure.

“We’re hoping that these corridors will finally start working tomorrow.” He stated, “The Ukrainian side has offered its promises.”

“However, it is still too early to talk about something positive.”

“We hope the talks will be rapidly continued,” said another Russian representative, Leonid Slutsky, the head of the parliament’s foreign affairs committee.

“However, we will not be consoled by the notion that the final outcome will be achieved in the following stage.”

Ukraine and Russia agreed to build humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians at the second round of talks last week.

Ukraine, on the other hand, turned down Moscow’s offer of humanitarian corridors connecting four Ukrainian cities to Russia and Belarus.

The Russian army said it was providing humanitarian corridors to allow residents to flee Kharkiv, Kyiv, Mariupol, and Sumy.

Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister, said Russia’s plan was “not an acceptable choice.”

“Ukrainian civilians will not travel to Belarus and then fly to Russia,” she said.

On February 28, the fifth day of the Kremlin’s onslaught, the first round of discussions took place.

  • AFP