The Kremlin dictated the agenda. The Russian tanks, at the gates of Kiev, are also an effective weapon in a diplomatic key to try to impose one’s will. And so, in the six-hour conversation between the two delegations in Gomel, a Belarusian city on the border with Ukraine, there was talk of the demilitarization and neutrality of Ukraine and a Russian Crimea. Concept reaffirmed by Vladimir Putin in the same hours in an interview with the French President Emmanuel Macron. Kiev, according to Russian demands, must not enter the Born, must be “denazified” (this would allude to a change of government and the ousting of the current president Volodymyr Zelensky). Furthermore, even the country’s entry into the EU is considered by the Kremlin to be a “hostile act”.
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However, any decision has been postponed. The talks, which promised to be uphill, failed to wrest even a temporary ceasefire. The war continues. The first round served only to submit Russian claims, ei negotiators Putin who raised the stakes on the strength of their military presence in Ukraine. At the end of yesterday’s meeting, the two delegations returned to their respective capitals for consultations. “We have found some points on which common ground can be identified,” Vladimir said Medinsky, head of the Russian delegation, and former Minister of Culture, according to whom the new meeting will be held “in the next few days on the border between Poland and Belarus”. The very presence of Medinsky, one of Putin’s most trusted advisors, considered a hawk, is a clear message to Kiev and to the international community, regarding the determination that the Kremlin pursues in the negotiations. Few concessions to Ukraine. So much so that the talks were “difficult”, confirmed the advisor to the Ukrainian presidency, Mykhailo Podolyak, and the Russian position “extremely biased”.
Therefore a Gomel, as well as on the Paris – Moscow axis, a double confrontation took place, with unique and unambiguous requests from Russia. We are trying to get out of the track of the war that has upset the country and brought the conflict within Europe. Ukrainian President Zelensky said the next 24 hours will be crucial. Zelensky, however, would have liked to reach the negotiating table by playing the card of a possible entry into the EU of his country. However, Brussels reacted with a certain coldness to the hypothesis of Kiev in the European Union. An answer dictated by pragmatism to avoid irritating, in this very delicate phase, the Russia. “The accession of Ukraine to the EU in the immediate future is not on the agenda”, stressed the High Representative for foreign policy Josep Borrell. A statement that partially weakened the Ukrainian number one in front of the counterpart. Even if today the European Parliament meets in plenary session tomorrow to vote on the candidate status of Ukraine. At the end of the meeting, however, the Ukrainian president received the support of the Italian government, “I believe that the request for entry into the European Union is legitimate,” said Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio.
Yesterday at the table organized in Gomel there were ten, 5 Ukrainians and 5 Russians; but the yellow on the negotiations that started in Belarus in the past few hours to try to find a rag of agreement for a ceasefire in Ukraine, revolves around the ghost of the alleged eleventh man in the negotiation, even if it were a football team. That Roman Abramovicha symbolic oligarch among the lords of post-Soviet business in Russia, whom the Jerusalem Post and a spokesman later indicated as a hypothetical shadow-mediator committed to facilitating the agreement.
Ukraine-Russia, the faces of resistance: from the former Miss to the stripper in Kiev, citizens take up arms
The reality of the official images actually showed on stage only the 10 delegates of the two sides, chosen from among politicians, diplomats and military personnel. Team led by two hawks charged – who knows – to be doves: on the one hand Oleksii Reznikov, Defense Minister of Kiev from the stronghold of Ukrainian nationalism in Lviv and very loyal to Zelensky; on the other hand, former minister Medinsky, Putin’s adviser and former holder of the Moscow Department of Culture, known as a sort of ideologue of Putinian neo-revanchism, but also the son of one of the so-called liquidators of Chernobyl, the heroes who put their lives on the line in order to extinguish the nuclear hell that broke out in Ukraine from reactor number 4 of the then Soviet power plant that exploded on the night of April 26, 1986. A historical appeal with a disturbing echo, in a context in which the atomic threat – even if only verbal – risks becoming military. And which, however, could perhaps serve as a positive warning.
The work of diplomacy did not stop the weapons. Some loud explosions were heard in Kiev last night and alarm sirens rang out shortly after the meeting in Gomel ended. Kiev is a suspended city. The barricades they have been raised to protect the government citadel and anti-tank traps have been scattered in key points. As soon as the first round ended in the capital, three powerful explosions were heard: the videos that bounce in the chats show the now dark sky igniting. The city is no longer considered safe and the signs are those of great preparations for a deadly confrontation. Supermarkets are stormed to secure food supplies. In short, the siege, in addition to being hard, could also be long. Many others think they are escaping. The trains, as in recent days, are increasingly crowded. Then there is the escape by car, with the possibility of finding the Russian military or damaged roads. Still, however, those who want to leave can do so. Indeed, in a certain way he was encouraged to do so. “The people of Kiev can freely leave the city,” announced the Russian army.
But it’s not just Ukrainians who want to escape now. There is the problem of the many foreigners who are still in the city. The remaining diplomatic representations do what they can, with enormous difficulty. Europeans help each other, form a group; they prepare common convoys to ensure safety, especially for children, some even very young if not in swaddling clothes. France is gone, Italy is still in Kiev. But these are the last gasps. Portugal demobilized today. The UN is organizing convoys and this could be a solution to evacuate the displaced. There is the certainty that things in Kiev can get worse, the signs are not good. Kharkiv was bombed, Grad missiles hit the city. “They hit residential areas, we fear dozens of deaths,” regional governor Oleg Sinegoubov denounced.
“Ukrainian forces are effectively resisting around Kiev,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a press briefing yesterday. Other sources in the US administration have praised the “creative” way in which the Ukrainians are resisting Russian troops. Meanwhile, international measures against Moscow are being strengthened. But they must not go beyond the limits of common sense. Because of this Downing Street he had to run for cover by saying that Boris Johnson’s spokesman expressed himself badly when he reported the premier’s words that Western sanctions “aim to bring down the Putin regime”. “Just a slip”, the clarification after the sensational gaffe.
Meanwhile, the list of countries that send military supplies to Ukraine is growing, in addition to Germany, Italy, Holland, France, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Poland, there are also Finland and Norway. But yesterday came the Kremlin’s harsh reaction to the sending of weapons to Kiev. «Citizens and entities of the EU involved in the delivery of lethal weapons» to Ukraine «will be held responsible for any consequences of these actions». This was stated in a note by the Moscow Foreign Ministry, according to which those who have taken these initiatives “cannot understand how dangerous the consequences are”. Interfax reports it.
In the meantime, Turkey has banned the transit of all military ships through the straits of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, which lead to the Black Sea. This was announced by Ankara’s Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu. “We have communicated to coastal and non-coastal countries not to let warships pass through the straits,” Cavusoglu explained. “We apply the provisions of the Montreux Convention” of 1936, which authorizes Turkey to prevent warships from reaching the Black Sea through its straits in the event of a conflict, he added. “Since the beginning of the war, we have not received any requests” for the passage “by warships”, however, underlined the head of diplomacy in Ankara.
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