Russia and Ukraine face major gap in peace talks

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Russia and Ukraine face major gap in peace talks

A “very, very big gap” separates negotiators seeking to settle Russian’s deadly invasion of Ukraine, one day after Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a bellicose speech against the West, according to a report Thursday.

The fourth round of peace talks, which is being conducted virtually, has been underway since Monday.

“Both sides are taking them seriously but there is a very, very big gap between the positions in question,” a Western official told Reuters.

Another Western official said that anyone “who saw President Putin addressing the nation yesterday would be forgiven for thinking that Russia was not in compromising mood.”

During a televised address to Russian government ministers, Putin claimed that the invasion was “going to plan” and accused the West of pursuing “hostile geopolitical goals.”

He also said that if Western leaders think they can prevail over Russia, “they don’t know our history or our people.”

The Western officials who spoke Thursday said that China’s potential role in the conflict — including its willingness to supply Russia with arms — remained unclear.

During a televised address to Russian government ministers, Putin claimed that the invasion was "going to plan" and accused the West of pursuing "hostile geopolitical goals."
During a televised address to Russian government ministers, Putin claimed that the invasion was “going to plan” and accused the West of pursuing “hostile geopolitical goals.”
RUSSIAN POOL – Access all)via Reuters
Vladimir Putin said that if Western leaders think they can prevail over Russia, “they don’t know our history or our people."
Vladimir Putin said that if Western leaders think they can prevail over Russia, “they don’t know our history or our people.”
RUSSIAN POOL – Access all
Firefighters work at a site of a fire at the Barabashova market during the Russian invasion of Ukraine on March 17, 2022.
Firefighters work at a site of a fire at the Barabashova market during the Russian invasion of Ukraine on March 17, 2022.
REUTERS/Oleksandr Lapshyn

“Their leadership would like to be supportive of Russia … but are increasingly aware … of a) how badly this is going at the moment and b) some of the reputational blowback associated with being in the Russian camp,” one official said.


Get the latest updates in the Russia-Ukraine conflict with The Post’s live coverage.


“It is a complex picture and by no means a static one.”

On Wednesday, Ukrainian negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted that a “model of security guarantees is on the negotiating table.”

People gather near a block of flats, which was destroyed during Ukraine-Russia conflict in Mariupol on March 17, 2022.
People gather near a building, which was destroyed during Ukraine-Russia conflict in Mariupol, on March 17, 2022.
REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
People walk near blocks of flats, which were destroyed by Russian forces during an attack on Mariupol.
People walk near blocks of apartments, which were destroyed by Russian forces during an attack on Mariupol.
REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
A map shows the areas of Ukraine threatened by Russian forces.
A map shows the areas of Ukraine threatened by Russian forces.

“What does this mean? A rigid agreement with a number of guarantor states undertaking clear legal obligations to actively prevent attacks,” he added.

Discussions are underway to determine which countries might assume that role and the terms of any deal, a Western official said Thursday.

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