UN Secretary General announced “elements of progress” in the settlement in Ukraine

According to him, the consequences of what is happening are already being felt throughout the world, and the continuation of the special operation could cause global famine. “The consequences are already being felt around the world: a sharp rise in the prices of food, energy and fertilizers. This threatens to turn into a global famine,” he stressed.

Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky also warned about the possibility of famine in different countries. According to him, the current situation in Ukraine, which was one of the leaders in food supplies, interferes with the sowing campaign, leads to the destruction of fuel bases. The President clarified that this was a disruption in the supply of corn, vegetable oil and other goods.

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Russia and Ukraine have been negotiating a settlement since February 27, the first three rounds were held face-to-face on the territory of Belarus. The fourth round began on the morning of March 14 via videoconference. On the first day, the parties talked for several hours, on the afternoon of March 15, negotiations resumed and continued on March 16.

On March 16, the head of the Russian delegation, presidential aide Vladimir Medinsky, said that at the talks Ukraine was proposing an “Austrian” or “Swedish” version of a neutral demilitarized state. Moscow considers the status of Crimea and Donbas as fundamental issues, as well as other aspects, including the rights of the Russian-speaking population and the status of the Russian language.

In between meetings during the fourth round, the office of the President of Ukraine noted that the negotiations had come to a fork. Aleksey Arestovich, adviser to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine, admitted that the parties could sign a peace agreement within one to two weeks, until the end of May at the most. In a negative scenario, hostilities will continue, he said.

In turn, Medinsky said that the representatives of Kyiv and Moscow had become as close as possible on the issues of Ukraine’s neutral status and its non-participation in NATO. At the same time, the nuances concerning security guarantees for Ukraine, “in addition to those available in the event of refusal to join the NATO bloc,” still remain, the head of the Russian delegation said.

After that, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that the question of reaching compromises between Russia and Ukraine would be decided by Ukrainian citizens during a national referendum. He explained this by saying that potential agreements would require changes in Ukrainian legislation, including the country’s Constitution.

Zelensky said he was ready to talk with Putin about Crimea and Donbass

On March 21, a member of the Ukrainian delegation, David Arakhamia, announced that another meeting lasting an hour and a half was held that day at the level of official delegations, after which the working groups continued the dialogue.

Russia launched a special operation in Ukraine on February 24, Vladimir Putin called it forced and necessary for the “denazification” and “demilitarization” of the country, as well as to save its population from “genocide.” He later stated that Russia intends to fulfill all the objectives of the operation.

In Ukraine, they called the Russian special operation an attack, introduced martial law and severed diplomatic relations with Moscow.