MOSCOW, March 29. /TASS/. The agenda of the Russian-Ukrainian negotiations includes Kiev’s recognition of contemporary territorial realities, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during a briefing Tuesday.
"The agenda includes permanent neutrality and non-aligned status, guarantees of security, demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine, recognition of contemporary territorial realities, restoration of the status of Russian language and rights of Russian-speakers. In other words, we are talking about Ukraine’s return to the source of its statehood, cemented in the 1990 declaration of sovereignty," Zakharova underscored.
She reminded that the Russian-Ukrainian talks began on February 28 and have been going on for one month already.
"We expect that, during the next round of talks in Istanbul, the Ukrainian delegation will display a constructive approach," the diplomat said.
According to Zakharova, the people of Donbass have been "suffering from shellings, blockade and genocide," while the people of Ukraine have been suffering "from discrimination, atrocities of the nationalist regime" for eight years.
"Today, Ukraine needs not the shipments of Western weapons, but humanitarian aid and progress in negotiations for the sake of achievement of peace and stability so that this years-long hell could end. No-one would be able to pretend that these eight years have never happened," the spokeswoman concluded.
The Russian-Ukrainian talks started on February 28; the delegations had several rounds of talks in Belarus, and then continued their work over video conference. On March 29, the sides had a new in-person round in Istanbul.
Military operation in Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, noting that the operation was aimed at the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine.
The Russian Defense Ministry reassured that Russian troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, but are limited to surgically striking and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure. There are no threats whatsoever to the civilian population.