Minsk, 28 February 2022 (TDI): Russia-Ukraine negotiations have officially begun in Belarus, though initially, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy refused peace talks. Russia is interested in reaching an agreement with Ukraine.
The attention of the entire world had been fixated on Russia and Ukraine as on 24th February, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine at the behest of its Security Council that convened a day before.
President Putin announced the military operation supposedly to denazify Ukraine. Reports of clashes and ensuing casualties had been emerging for four days with the Western countries slapping sanctions on Russia.
Prior to this, a day before launching the military assault, Russia also recognized the Republics of the Luhansk and Donetsk, much to the West’s chagrin. The Donetsk and Luhansk are a part of the Donbas region that is pro-Russia territory.
Previously, Western countries had been alleging Russia about troops’ deployment on the border of Ukraine. However, Russia had been denying the allegations by claiming that it has no intention to invade Ukraine.
One of the main issues of contention between Russia and the EU/US is NATO’s beefed-up defenses in northeastern Europe and Ukraine’s intent to join NATO. A series of negotiations were held between Russian and Western counterparts to avert escalation. Though, that indelibly failed.
According to Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s stance regarding Ukraine is a matter of principle. In this context, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that if attempts to come to terms on mutually acceptable principles fail, Russia will adopt an appropriate response.
Contrarily, the Ukrainian authorities had been alerting the world about a possible invasion. Throughout 2021 and 2022, Russia and the West had been engaged in a diplomatic tussle related to Ukraine.
The West kept accusing Russia of a military buildup on the border of Ukraine whilst Russia kept objecting to NATO’s expansionist agenda that is considered a threat to its strategic security.
Consequently, tensions escalated between the two countries and led to strained bilateral relations. Moreover, despite the United States and EU sending strong messages to warn Russia, the threat of economic isolation couldn’t deter Russia to compromise on what it considers its national interest.