Russian and Ukrainian negotiators will meet again on Tuesday to discuss the outline of an emerging deal that would keep most of Ukraine intact in exchange for Ukrainian neutrality and a pledge not to seek NATO membership.
Financial Times – David Arakhamia, head of the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zilensky’s party at parliament, told the Financial Times that they were close to an agreement on security and Ukraine’s EU bid but warned against a potential breakthrough.
Arakhamia said that all issues were on the table “from the beginning” of negotiations but that there were “lots of points — because in every item there are unresolved matters. ”
Another person briefed on the talks said that Ukraine was concerned about Russia’s shifts in its position almost every day in terms of military pressure and Kyiv’s “demilitarization demands”.
Putin doesn’t care about the opinions of the rest of the world at the moment, so it is not unreasonable to believe that he will abruptly stop negotiations and start his offensive against Kyiv and other population centers.
But, Russia’s internal politics are cloudy. Is Putin being forced to accept Ukraine? Do the Russian elites still support Putin?
The agreement would require Ukraine not to develop nuclear weapons or host foreign military bases. It must also stop pursuing membership in NATO.
Arakhamia stated that Ukraine would be given “wording close to Nato Article 5” in exchange for security guarantees from France, Germany, Canada, and Russia.
Zelensky said that any potential agreement would have to be negotiated and ratified by the guarantors. It is worth noting that the 1994 “Budapest Memorandum” required Ukraine to surrender its nuclear stockpile.
Ukraine won’t be granted NATO membership. Kyiv will need to find other regional powers to create a coalition that can stop Vladimir Putin from further adventures. It shouldn’t be hard considering the real threat Russia poses to the security and stability of the region.