By Alexander Miller, for Eurasia Business News – March 13, 2022

Negotiators from Ukraine and Russia on Sunday delivered their most optimistic comments to date on the progress of talks between their two countries, citing the possibility of achieving positive results within days.

Oleksiy Arestovich, Adviser to the head of the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said today that Ukraine and Russia actively negotiated in the past hours and that the Ukrainian authorities paid special attention to the situation around Mariupol.

Arestovich pointed out that Ukraine has enough troops in Mariupol to prevent the fall of the city located on the seacoast in Southern Ukraine.

On Sunday, Mykhailo Podolyak, the adviser to the head of the office of the Ukrainian President, said that Moscow and Kyiv are approaching a compromise in the negotiations.

As soon as mutual reciprocal legal formats are developed, a meeting will be scheduled – the fourth round of negotiations. It could be tomorrow, the day after tomorrow. It’s probably not necessary to go out and just have conversations. We discussed all the issues, we are now trying to pack these issues into some legal formats” explained Podolyak.

Mykhailo Podolyak said that tomorrow, March 14, a new round of negotiations with Russia will take place. However, according to him, the negotiations are going on non-stop, and tomorrow there will be a summing up of the results.

Compared with the beginning of the negotiation process, Moscow and Kyiv have made significant progress in achieving a result, said today Leonid Slutsky, a member of the Russian delegation and head of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs.

According to him, the parties have made significant progress.

“According to my personal expectations, this progress can grow in the coming days into a unified position of both delegations, into documents for signing.”

Moscow wants Ukraine’s neutrality to be restored, the country to be demilitarized and not to join NATO.

Even if negotiations are successful and allow the implementation of a ceasefire, the war started on February 24 have changed the international order. For first time since 1945, a full-scale military operation is carried out by a Great power in Europe. The toughness of sanctions taken by the European Union, the United States and the other G7 countries has seriously hit the Russian economy. In addition, contrary to the Kremlin’s plans, this war promises to be long. Long enough to have to weigh the impact of this conflict on the entire European continent. 

Several countries feeling threatened by Russia have just applied for membership in the European Union. This is of course the case for Ukraine but also for Moldova and Georgia. In the aftermath, Turkey evokes its own accession to the EU, asking Brussels not to wait until it is “hit by a war” to grant Ankara into the European bloc. Finland and Sweden, whose airspace is occasionally violated by Russian planes, are now thinking of joining NATO and Denmark is expected to hold a referendum to participate in the EU’s defence policy. And all this may be just the beginning.

Another direct impact of the war in Ukraine: the idea of seeing the birth of a European army is becoming popular again. French President Emmanuel Macron, who chaired a meeting in Versailles on March 10 and 11, believes that this project “must take a new step“.

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