MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. Talks with Ukraine aren’t proceeding smoothly, but there is some hope for a compromise, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with RBC on Wednesday.
"I am talking based on evaluations from our negotiators. They say that talks aren’t proceeding smoothly for obvious reasons, but there still is some hope for a compromise. Some members of the Ukrainian delegation share this view, including officials from President Zelensky’s office," Lavrov pointed out.
The top diplomat noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin had repeatedly clarified the agenda of the talks. "It includes issues related to security and the need to save the lives of the people in Donbass, stop Ukraine from turning into a constant source of a security threat for Russia and prevent the resurgence of neo-Nazi ideology in Ukraine, which is banned throughout the world, even in civilized Europe," Lavrov noted.
The first round of talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations was held on February 28 in the Gomel Region of Belarus. The second round took place in Belovezhskaya Pushcha on March 3, and the third round in the Brest Region of Belarus on March 7. On March 10, Lavrov met with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmitry Kuleba on the sidelines of a diplomatic forum in Antalya, Turkey. The next round of talks between Moscow and Kiev kicked off online on Monday. An announcement was made later that the parties had taken a break but the negotiations resumed on Tuesday.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation based on a request from the heads of the Donbass republics. The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans to occupy Ukrainian territories and the goal was to demilitarize and denazify the country.