Moscow’s top negotiator says Kiev has proposed the adoption of a neutral status similar to Austria or Sweden.
Vladimir Medinsky, Russia’s top negotiator at the peace talks with Ukraine, has said that Kiev is floating the idea of becoming a neutral nation.
“Ukraine is proposing an Austrian or a Swedish model of a neutral demilitarized state, but with its own army and navy,” Medinsky told reporters on Wednesday, adding that “the size of Ukrainian Army” was among the issues discussed.
Moscow wants Ukraine to officially become a neutral country that will never join NATO. Russia attacked Ukraine on February 24, saying that it was seeking the “demilitarization” of the country, among other demands.
Medinsky reiterated that Moscow wants Kiev to recognize Crimea as part of Russia, and the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), which broke away from Ukraine shortly after the 2014 coup in Kiev. Other key issues of concern for Russia are the “denazification” of Ukraine and the rights of Russian speakers living in the country, the negotiator said.
“There was some progress on several issues, but not all of them,” Medinsky said about the talks with Kiev.
Commenting on this model of Ukrainian neutrality, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “it can be viewed as a certain compromise.”