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Truce with Russia possible in ‘near future’: Kyiv

A ceasefire between Ukraine and Russia could possibly be achieved in “the near future", according to a Ukrainian official involved in negotiations between the two sides.

“I believe the negotiation process will work out the optimal form of an agreement,” said Mikhail Podolyak who has been leading Ukraine’s delegation in talks with Russian officials.

“We will, in principle, come to a truce and a ceasefire, I think, in the near future,” Podolyak, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, told Anadolu Agency in an interview in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

Meanwhile, Podolyak said in an interview with Russia’s Kommersant daily that having discussed main issues during recent talks, Russian and Ukrainian negotiators are now working to give them a legal shape.

“As soon as there are mutual legal frameworks, a meeting will be scheduled, the fourth round of talks. It may happen tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow,” he said. “So far, there is no need to just meet and negotiate. We have discussed all issues, and are now trying to pack them into some legal formats.”

According to the Ukrainian official, the matter of compensation of losses sustained by Ukraine should be among the issues mentioned in the tentative list of questions.

“Compensation mechanisms must be defined clearly: who, whose budget will bear the burden,” he said.

Podolyak did not rule out that third states, involved in the Ukrainian situation “directly or indirectly,” will participate in signing this document.

“They are ready to sit at the negotiating table at any moment, and to literally join the work, the signing of the tentative final document immediately. I don’t see any problems about that,” Podolyak said.

The third round of Russian-Ukrainian talks, which were held in Belarus on March 7, didn’t bring the desired results, representatives of both Moscow and Kyiv said. Both sides expressed their readiness to continue negotiations and noted positive developments in the issue of humanitarian corridors. The sides haven’t yet announced the date and place of the next meeting, but, according to a member of the Russian delegation, State Duma Committee on International Affairs Chairman Leonid Slutsky, it will be held in Belarus in the near future.

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