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Putin not ready for talks with Zelensky yet, says Turkish official

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Putin not ready for talks with Zelensky yet, says Turkish official

Ideally, Mr Kalin said, the solution would be found in some new version of the Minsk Agreement, which were to grant significant autonomy within Ukraine to the Russian-backed separatist enclaves of Donetsk and Luhansk.

It is now more complicated because Mr. Putin and the Russian Duma, or parliament, have recognized separatist enclaves as “independent” states no longer under their control, as Russia did with South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia. Similar did after the war. 2008.

Russian and Ukrainian officials are negotiating both in Belarus and by video call. But the Russian delegation is relatively low-level, and so far the most difficult problems separating the two sides have not been negotiated, leading Ukrainian officials to believe Russia is delaying while its military offensive continues.

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The toughest issues, such as territorial control and sovereignty, will be left to the two presidents, Mr. Kalin suggested, once fewer issues are resolved. These include agreeing to a form of neutrality except Ukraine’s NATO membership, which Mr. Zelensky has already accepted. “The Russians are ready to move to another level of negotiations,” Mr Kalin said.

But it will also be important for Turkey and its fellow NATO members to start thinking seriously about how to manage relations with Russia after the war ends, Mr Kalin said. “While we absolutely reject the Russian war on Ukraine, the Russian case must be heard, because after this war, a new security framework will have to be established between Russia and the Western Bloc,” he said.

“We cannot afford another Cold War – it will be bad for everyone and costly for the entire international political and financial system,” he said. “Whatever decision we take, any action we take now with respect to Russia, military, political, economic and otherwise, will have an impact on that new security framework.”

That topic will be part of Thursday’s extraordinary summit of NATO countries, which President Biden plans to attend. While mostly to emphasize the Coalition’s commitment to resistance and collective defence, as a show of unity in the face of Russian aggression, Mr. Kalin said, “At the end of the day, the goal is to establish peace and security for all. “

This is why Turkey is working so hard to “keep our lines of communication open with Russia”, he said. “Of course, Russia bears more responsibility here,” he said, “but at the end of the day, it’s President Putin who will call off this war. When does he feel like doing it, when does he think he should” We have got what we wanted from it – compromise, concession, deal – don’t know. But I think we are moving in that direction.”

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