Ukraine and Russia first round of talks inconclusive, March 1, 2022, Focused on stopping the fighting, Delegations next go back to their capitals for further discussion, Ukraine demands immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of all Russian forces
From Kyiv Independent.
“First round of Ukraine-Russia negotiations inconclusive as casualties pile up
After five brutal days of fighting, the first round of talks between Ukraine and Russia ended inconclusively.
Mykhailo Podoliak, advisor to the head of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s administration, said that a number of core themes had been identified, and that the delegations would go back to their capitals for further discussion. The discussion mainly focused on stopping the fighting.
Negotiations were held on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border near the Prypyat River.
Podoliak said that the two sides would hold a second round of talks at the earliest possible opportunity.
“At (these talks), the themes (discussed today) will be concretely developed,” he said.
Podolyak then tweeted that while it did not impose any ultimatums, the Russian side “unfortunately still has a non-objective understanding of the destruction it has caused.”
According to the Ukrainian government, the war has cost 352 Ukrainian lives and approximately 5,300 Russian ones. Russia only acknowledged taking casualties four days into the war, and has thus far refused to give any numbers.
The Ukrainian side was represented by Podoliak, Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, ruling party leader David Arakhamia, Deputy Foreign Minister Mykola Tochytskyi, diplomat Andriy Kostin, and lawmaker Rustem Umerov.
Russia was represented by Presidential Advisor Vladimir Medinsky, Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko, lawmaker Leonid Slutsky, and Russian ambassador to Belarus Boris Gryzlov.
Ukraine went into talks demanding an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of all Russian forces from Ukraine.
Podolyak said on Feb. 27 that Russia was seeking to force Ukraine into an “unacceptable compromise” with its all-out assault on Ukraine.
Zelensky said previously that he did not believe the negotiations would yield a positive outcome, but that talks would go ahead so that “no citizen of Ukraine doubts that I, as president, tried to stop the war when there was still a chance, however small.”
Despite an overwhelming manpower and equipment advantage, Russia’s five-day assault has been marked by tactical failures. Multiple videos have shown Russian tanks and APCs abandoned by roadsides after they ran out of fuel, and many attacks have been beaten back by Ukrainian forces.”