Russia’s negotiating position in talks with Ukraine is becoming “more realistic”, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Wednesday.
Speaking in a televised message, Zelensky stressed the need for his country to “keep fighting” but gave the negotiations a more positive note.
“Meetings are continuing, as I’m told the positions seem more realistic,” he said.
Zelensky stressed the importance of persevering in the talks because “any war must end with an agreement”, but added that “we need more time to make decisions that serve Ukraine’s interests”.
Talks between the two countries are expected to resume on Wednesday after ending on Tuesday evening, according to the Ukrainian delegation.
However, Vladimir Medinsky, head of the Russian negotiating delegation, said the country’s goals in negotiations with Ukraine have not changed since talks between the two sides began.
Medinsky, a presidential aide, said Moscow wants a “peaceful, free, independent and neutral” Ukraine, as quoted by state media RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
“Russia’s goal in these negotiations is exactly the same as Russia’s goal that was set at the very beginning of the special military operation,” he said.
“We need a peaceful, free, independent, neutral Ukraine – not a member of military blocs, not a member of NATO. A country that is our friend, a neighbor, with whom we develop relations together, build our future , and which is not a base for military and economic attacks against our country.”
Medinsky added that Russia-Ukraine talks are ongoing, but are “difficult” and “slow”.
“Of course, we would like everything to happen much faster, it is such a sincere desire of the Russian side. We want to reach peace as soon as possible,” he said.