Negotiations between Russia and Ukraine to reach a peace deal are still occurring, but there seems to be no real progress. The Kremlin says there is “still a long way to go”, and talks are “dragging on”.
Ukraine, in turn, reports after the horrific discoveries of civilian deaths in, among other places, Bucha that talks with Russia are ultimately necessary to end the war.
Little progress has been reported this week in the progress of the negotiations. Recently, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov only reported that talks between Moscow and Kyiv are continuing. Moscow accuses the West of thwarting the negotiations by spreading “hysteria” about the war crimes allegedly committed by the Russians in the Kyiv region. Peskov also says that arms supplies by, for example, the United States to Ukraine do not contribute to successful negotiations.
Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky has said that Russia still makes so much money exporting oil that Russians need not take negotiations with Ukraine seriously. According to him, a West import ban on Russian oil is necessary to save Ukrainian lives. However, Zelensky also stressed that talks with Russia are the only option for ending the war this week.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday that the deadly attacks on civilians in Ukraine had hampered negotiations between the two sides. Turkey acts as a mediator in the conflict. Nevertheless, Cavusoglu expressed the hope that the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Russia will eventually meet in Turkey. “We are still hopeful and cautiously optimistic. But, at the same time, we are realistic,” Cavusoglu said on the sidelines of a NATO meeting in Brussels.
Meanwhile, Hungary has also offered to act as a mediator and invited the leaders of Ukraine, France and Germany to meet Vladimir Putin in the capital Budapest. But Kyiv called that a cynical proposal after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said, among other things, that he was willing to pay in rubles for Russian gas.