Russia’s invasion of Ukraine yesterday put the US and the North Atlantic Organization (NATO) on alert, warning Vladimir Putin that “they will respond to any aggression against a member country” after the Kremlin’s military attacked with a wave of surface-to-air missiles a Ukrainian military training center on the border with Poland. However, despite this challenge from Putin to the West that caused at least 35 deaths and more than 120 injuries, last night there was optimism on both sides about a new round of negotiations that will take place today.
Diplomats from both countries will meet again this Monday, for the first time via videoconference, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov reported. At the same time, sources from the two teams agreed that the parties’ positions had come closer in recent days, so they were optimistically awaiting new talks.
Moscow “has become much more sensitive to Ukraine’s position” and “has begun to speak constructively,” said adviser to Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky and head of bilateral negotiations Mikhail Podoliak.
The diplomat stressed in a video posted yesterday on his Twitter account that for this reason he hoped there would be “concrete results in the coming days.”
Podoliak indicated that the Ukrainian proposals “are on the table and they are very strong; among them are the withdrawal of troops and the ceasefire.”
“If we compare the position of the two delegations between the start of the negotiations and now, we see significant progress,” said Russian negotiator Leonid Slutski.
“My personal expectation is that this progress will lead very soon to a common position between the two delegations and to the signing of documents,” he stressed.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had said on Friday he saw “positive progress in the talks” and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodimir Zelensky, stressed on Saturday that Moscow took a “fundamentally different” approach.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said yesterday that “in some way” the positions of Ukraine and Russia came closer, although he warned that “serious debates continue between them and that among the points of discussion is” neutrality ” from Ukraine.
Faced with the Russian attack on the Polish border, the US president’s top security adviser, Joe Biden, said yesterday that Russia will face a NATO response if any of its attacks in Ukraine cross borders and reach the territory of any country in the atlantic alliance.
Yesterday it was reported that more than 2,100 inhabitants of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol have died since the beginning of the Russian offensive.