Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Neutrality Seen a Trap for Ukraine

Despite the early failure of the Russian military to gain ground in the face of Ukraine’s extremely effective resistance, peace talks between Russia and Ukraine have not gone far. Russia has hardly been interested in engaging in any meaningful diplomatic conversations since the war began. Last month, the first high-level meeting in Ankara, Turkey, between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, ended with no progress. Russia could not even agree to grant a temporary cease-fire to enable Ukraine to open humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of trapped civilians from the besieged city of Mariupol. It was hardly imaginable that top officials would achieve any breakthrough on ending the war. (https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/04/22/ukraine-russia-putin-nato-neutrality-trap/) One of the key Russian demands is that Ukraine declare neutrality and demilitarize. This would allow Russia to claim a propaganda victory in successfully averting the nonexistent threat of NATO enlargement on its southern border, while leaving Ukraine defenseless.

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