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Russia Pledges To Scale Down Its Military Operations Around Kyiv During Peace Talks On Tuesday

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ISTANBUL – During peace talks on Tuesday, Russia promised to drastically scale down its military operations around Kyiv and the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv. Ukraine also proposed neutral status with international guarantees to protect it from attack.

Ukrainian negotiators made it clear that their country would not join alliances or host bases of foreign troops, but would have its security guaranteed in terms similar to Article 5, the collective defense clause of NATO. According to The NY Post, Ukraine specifically referenced Israel and NATO members Canada, Poland, and Turkey as countries that would help to provide guarantees.

The proposals would include a 15-year consultation period on the status of Russian-annexed Crimea, and could come into force only in the event of a complete cease-fire, the Ukrainian negotiators told reporters in Istanbul.

Russia has agreed to reduce fighting near Kyiv and Chernihiv in order to create the conditions of dialogue, according to top Russian negotiator Vladimir Medinsky. Medinsky said the move was meant as a good-faith gesture “to increase trust” in talks aimed at ending the war even though Russian troops have been struggling to make major advances recently.

The peace talks were held in Instanbul on Tuesday and were the first time both sides met face-to-face since March 10th, 2022. Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 and has since failed to take any major Ukrainian cities.

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