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Turkey says Russia-Ukraine talks in Istanbul mark most significant progress yet

The Russia-Ukraine talks held on Tuesday in Istanbul have brought about the greatest progress in the negotiations so far, said Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu, as quoted by Reuters.

The chief negotiators, Ukraine’s Davyd Arakhamia and Russia’s Vladimir Medinsky had a one-on-one conversation in Istanbul on Tuesday. Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Cavusoglu announced that the teams had reached a compromise on some issues, and that “more difficult matters” would be discussed by the ministers of both countries.

As a result of the talks, Russia has decided to drastically cut its military activity around Kyiv and Chernihiv in Ukraine “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,” informed the public Russian Deputy Minister of Defence Alexander Fomin. He also told reporters that more details would be made public by Russia’s General Staff after the delegation has returned to Moscow.

Ukrainian negotiators said they had proposed that Ukraine adopt neutral status in exchange for security guarantees, meaning Kyiv would not join military alliances or host military bases. Russia’s chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky said these proposals would be considered and presented to President Vladimir Putin.

Ukraine’s chief negotiator Davyd Arakhamia told a press briefing in Istanbul on Tuesday that Ukraine foresees their future security guarantors to be the permanent members of the UN Security Council (the USA, UK, China, France and Russia) as well as Turkey, Germany, Canada, Italy, Poland and Israel, as quoted by the Ukrayinska Pravda website.

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