Russia Ukraine conflict

Russia FM Lavrov says neutrality for Ukraine being discussed, hopes for compromise

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Russia said on Wednesday that peace talks with Ukraine were not easy but that there was some hope of reaching a compromise and that neutrality for Ukraine was being seriously discussed.

“The negotiations are not easy for obvious reasons,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said told RBC news. “But nevertheless, there is some hope of reaching a compromise.”

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“Neutral status is now being seriously discussed along, of course, with security guarantees,” Lavrov said.

Ukraine has also made cautious positive statements on peace talks. It says it is willing to negotiate to the end the war, but will not surrender or accept Russian ultimatums.

Lavrov said key issues included the security of people in eastern Ukraine, the demilitarization of Ukraine and the rights of Russian-speaking people in Ukraine.

Announcing the invasion on February 24, President Vladimir Putin blamed the United States for threatening Russia by enlarging the NATO military alliance eastwards into Russia's backyard.

Putin said there was no option but to launch the military operation because Russian-speaking people in Ukraine had been subjected to genocide by "nationalists and neo-Nazis" since Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Ukraine and the West says claims of genocide are baseless.

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