After talks with Ukraine, Russia says it will wind down military activities near Kyiv and Chernihiv

The Russian Defense Ministry said Russia would wind down military activity in Kyiv and Chernihiv directions.

"Because negotiations with Ukraine are moving to the practical plane, it was decided to significantly reduce military activity in the Kyiv and Chernihiv directions," said Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin.

According to the representative of the Russian delegation, Vladimir Medinsky, the talks were constructive, and "Russia is taking two steps to de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine." He also noted that the Russian Federation will consider the Ukrainian proposals and they will be reported to Putin.

A member of the Ukrainian delegation David Arahamia named Ukraine’s conditions for security guarantees:

Ukraine is ready to agree to the non-aligned status of a non-nuclear country in the presence of clear and strict guarantees from several countries. The UK, China, the USA, Turkey, France, Canada, Italy, Poland and Israel are considered as guarantors. Some of them have already given prior consent.

Ukraine needs clear, legally binding security guarantees, which should be similar to the fifth article of the NATO Charter. If Ukraine is subjected to military aggression, it will have the right to demand consultations with the guarantor countries within three days. If these consultations do not lead to a diplomatic solution, the guarantor countries should provide Ukraine with military assistance.

The guarantor countries are expected to help Ukraine join the EU.

Ukraine and Russia  have agreed to discuss the issues of Crimea and the Donbas separately. Ukraine proposed the following scheme: negotiations on the status of Crimea and Sevastopol will go on for 15 years, the sides will not use military means to resolve this issue. The status and future of the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics is a separate item. It can be discussed by the presidents of the two countries at a personal meeting.

The next round of talks will take place either tonight or tomorrow morning.

Earlier, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said that the tasks of the first stage of Russia’s "special operation" in Ukraine had been accomplished. "The combat potential of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has been significantly reduced, which allows us to focus our main attention and main efforts on achieving the main goal, the liberation of the Donbas," Shoygu said.

  Kyiv, Chernihiv, War in Ukraine, Ukraine, Russia