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EU countries admit need for compromise on Ukraine in private talks — South African envoy

All parties will have to compromise, including Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin, South African ambassador to Russia Mzuvukile Geoff Maqetuka said

MOSCOW, February 27. /TASS/. The EU representatives recognize the need for a compromise on Ukraine when they talk behind closed doors, South African Ambassador to Russia Mzuvukile Geoff Maqetuka told TASS.

"I am expecting that all parties will have to compromise, including [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky, including [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, if they are serious about resolving this issue, as they indicated," the ambassador said. "I'm talking about my counterparts in the EU, everybody accepts that there will have to be compromises. There will have, because there are no negotiations without compromises," he added.

The Russian authorities have repeatedly stated their readiness to negotiate with Ukraine on the conflict settlement. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova drew attention to the fact that the main obstacles keeping this from happening are Zelensky's decree forbidding negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as Ukrainian initiatives that "testify to official Kiev's complete detachment from modern realities," including the demand to withdraw Russian troops from the new Russian regions.


The first talks held between Russia and Ukraine after the start of the special military operation occurred in early March 2022 in Belarus, but they did not yield any tangible results. On March 29, 2022, another round was held in Istanbul, when Moscow received for the first time the principles of a possible future agreement fixed on paper from Kiev. It included, among other things, commitments on Ukraine's neutral, non-aligned status and its refusal to deploy foreign arms, including nuclear weapons, on its soil.

Russian troops in the Kiev and Chernigov regions were withdrawn, but after that the settlement talks were completely frozen. According to Putin, Kiev refused to abandon the agreements. In October of the same year, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council on the impossibility of holding talks with Putin.

In November, the head of the pro-presidential Servant of the People faction in the Verkhovna Rada, David Arahamiya, told the Ukrainian TV channel 1+1 in response to a question about why Kiev refused to hold talks with Moscow in 2022 that when the Ukrainian delegation returned from Istanbul, then British Prime Minister Boris Johnson came to Kiev and said: "We will not sign anything with them at all." The head of the government also suggested just fighting.