Ukraine’s Major Proposals At Talks With Russia

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Neutrality, Not NATO: Ukraine's Major Proposals At Talks With Russia

Members of the Ukrainian delegation attend the talks with Russian negotiators.

Istanbul, Turkey:

Ukraine made a series of proposals at talks held Tuesday in Turkey with Russia on resolving the month-long conflict, including abandoning its longstanding ambition to join NATO.

Here is a summary of the major proposals:

Security guarantees

Ukraine wants legally binding security guarantees from Western countries, which it says will be equivalent to or better than NATO’s collective security guarantee.

“We want an international mechanism of security guarantees where guarantor countries will act in a similar way to NATO’s article number five — and even more firmly,” David Arakhamia, a Ukrainian negotiator, told reporters after talks with the Russian delegation.

Article 5 of the NATO treaty requires member states to come to the aid of other members in case of an attack.

Arakhamia said Ukraine wants as guarantor nations the United States, China, France and Britain — all members of the United Nations Security Council — as well as Canada, Germany, Israel, Italy, Poland and Turkey.

All of those countries except China and Israel are members of NATO.

Neutrality, not NATO

With such security guarantees Ukraine could become neutral, which in effect means it would drop its aspirations to join NATO.

“Ukraine would accept neutral status if the security guarantees work,” said Arakhamia.

Ukraine won’t join “any military-political alliance”, said another Ukrainian negotiator at the talks, Oleksandr Chaly.

Moscow had cited the threat of NATO expanding to include Ukraine as one of its reasons for invading the country last month.

No foreign military bases

With foreign security guarantees in place, Ukraine “won’t host on its territory any foreign military base”, said Chaly.

Nevertheless, military exercises with guarantor states could be held in Ukraine, he added.

EU membership

Kyiv insisted that the international accord on the country’s security not block Ukraine’s possible membership in the EU.

Furthermore, it wants the security guarantors to pledge to aid Ukraine’s EU accession process.

Territorial integrity

Ukraine proposes to sidestep the question of Crimea and the breakaway territories in the eastern Donbas region.

In order for the security guarantees to quickly come into force the accord would “temporarily exclude” these areas, said Arakhamia.

For Crimea, which Russia invaded and then annexed in 2014, Kyiv proposes talks over 15 years to resolve its status, according to negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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