The third round of talks between Russian and Ukrainian officials in Belarus concluded on Monday with little progress made except for an agreement on logistics for humanitarian corridors, the head of Ukraine’s delegation said.
“The third round of negotiations has ended. There are small positive subductions in improving the logistics of humanitarian corridors,” Mykhailo Podoliyak, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, wrote on Twitter.
“Intensive consultations have continued on the basic political block of the regulations, along with a ceasefire and security guarantees,” Podoliyak added.
Russia and Ukraine agreed to establish humanitarian corridors to help evacuate civilians during talks last week. Since then, the two sides have blamed each other for the corridors not working properly.
Vladimir Medinsky, the head of the Russian delegation, said Ukraine gave Russia “reassurances” on the corridors during Monday’s talks. “We put the matter bluntly. We hope that these corridors will finally start working from tomorrow. The Ukrainian side gave us reassurances,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Russia proposed humanitarian corridors that would evacuate civilians to Russia and Belarus. But Ukraine rejected the idea of civilians entering the territories from where Russia launched its attack on Ukraine, calling it “completely immoral.”
On the issue of a political settlement to end the fighting, Medinsky said nothing was resolved. Ahead of the talks, the Kremlin said Russia would stop its assault “in a moment” if Ukraine agreed to its terms.
The terms include Ukraine changing its constitution to make the country officially neutral, recognizing Crimea as Russian territory, and recognizing the independence of the breakaway republics of Donestk and Luhansk in the Donbas. Medinsky said the talks will continue, and another round is expected to be held in Belarus soon.