MOSCOW, November 28. /TASS/. Kiev and Rome have started talks to reach an agreement on security guarantees, according to the office of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.
"On the orders from the Ukrainian president and head of the office of the head of state, the first round of consultations with the Italian Republic regarding the conclusion of a bilateral agreement on security guarantees has been started," the office said in a statement on its website.
The deputy head of the presidential office, Igor Zhovkva, has been appointed to lead the Ukrainian negotiating team. He said that Ukraine had started bilateral consultations with all of the Group of Seven countries, including Italy, which will take the rotating presidency of the group next year.
"Provision of security guarantees to Ukraine by Italy would be an important step to make our country’s membership in the EU and NATO closer," he said.
The president's office said the sides held a meeting to discuss approaches to the content and format of the agreement, and agreed on a schedule for further talks.
In July, the G7 adopted a declaration on long-term security guarantees for Ukraine on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Vilnius. Some other countries joined the declaration afterward. The document states, among other things, that Kiev should obtain significant military capabilities. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov called this decision mistaken and potentially very dangerous. Ukraine hopes to conclude the first of the bilateral treaties with European countries by the end of the year. Earlier, Ukraine started talks on security guarantees with the UK, Canada, the US, France, Germany and Japan.