Kiev says at the talks with Moscow that Ukraine could be demilitarized similarly to Sweden or Austria, RIA Novosti reports with reference to Vladimir Medinsky, the head of the Russian delegation at the talks.
This option implies that Ukraine will not be part of any military alliances, but the country will have a full-fledged army and navy. Medinsky added that such a option is being discussed at the level of the defense ministries of Russia and Ukraine.
The head of the Russian delegation stressed that Ukraine already had a neutral status. This status was one of the conditions for the country's exit from the USSR in 1991. It is also enshrined in its declaration of independence.
According to Medinsky, the key topics for Moscow at the negotiations with Kiev remain as follows:
Earlier, the head of the Russian delegation said that the negotiations with Kiev were hard and slow. Moscow's goal is to achieve peace as soon as possible, Medinsky added.
The option to demilitarize Ukraine similarly to Sweden and Austria could be a compromise, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, RIA Novosti reports.
"This is an option that we discuss indeed, and it can be considered as a real compromise,” Peskov said.
The first stage of negotiations took place on February 28, the second round took place on March 3, the third — on the evening of March 7. The fourth round of negotiations took place on March 14.
The Ukrainian military, who left the territory of the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, declared their desire to negotiate