Russia Says Will Drastically Scale Down Attacks In Kyiv, Chernihiv

Istanbul: Russia promised to “drastically scale down” its military operations around Kyiv and the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv, while Ukraine proposed neutral status with international guarantees to protect it from attack, in peace talks in Istanbul on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

Ukrainian negotiators proposed a status under which the 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 defence clause of NATO.

The proposals include a 15-year consultation period on the status of Russian-annexed Crimea, the report said.

Russian Deputy Defence Minister Alexander Fomin said Russia had decided to scale down fighting near Kyiv and Chernihiv to create the conditions for dialogue.

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“In order to increase mutual trust and create the necessary conditions for further negotiations and achieving the ultimate goal of agreeing and signing (an) agreement, a decision was made to radically, by a large margin, reduce military activity in the Kyiv and Chernihiv directions,” Fomin told reporters.

Top Russian negotiator Vladimir Medinsky said he would examine the Ukrainian proposals and report on them to President Vladimir Putin.

The talks held in Istanbul on Tuesday were the first face-to-face meeting between the sides since March 10.

The talks came as Russia’s invasion has been halted on most fronts by fierce resistance with Ukrainians recapturing territory, according to the report.

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