Peace talks more realistic: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy

On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said, peace talks between Ukraine and Russia were becoming more realistic although more time was required to hammer out a deal.

According to Ukrainian officials, there are hopes that the conflict could end sooner than expected, possibly by May.

“The meetings continue, and, I am informed, the positions during the negotiations already sound more realistic. But time is still needed for the decisions to be in the interests of Ukraine,” said Zelenskiy in a video address on Wednesday, ahead of the next round of talks.

Russia has made it clear that it sees Ukraine’s joining NATO as a red line and as a threat. It has demanded guarantees that Ukraine will never join NATO.

Zelenskiy has hinted at a possible compromise saying Ukraine was prepared to accept security guarantees from the West.

According to Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, it was too early to predict progress in the talks.

“The work is difficult, and in the current situation the very fact that (the talks) are continuing is probably positive.”

Russia has termed its invasion of Ukraine as a “special military operation” to “denazify” and demilitarise Ukraine. Ukraine and its Western allies have called this as a baseless pretext for war saying the invasion has raised fears of wider conflict in Europe.

Biden is slated to visit NATO’s headquarters in Brussels on March 24 and is expected to announce an additional $800 million in security assistance to Ukraine, said the White House.

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