Russian and Ukrainian negotiators said on March 13 that there has been progress in talks to potentially end the more than two-week-long conflict between the two countries, with results coming in days.
“To clarify. At the negotiations, the [Russian Federation]” isn’t making “ultimatums” but is instead “carefully” listening to Ukraine’s proposals, Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, wrote on Twitter.
The Kyiv government is continuing to demand to “end of the war and the withdrawal of [Russian] troops,” according to Podolyak, who noted that there’s “understanding” and “a dialogue” with Russia.
“I think that we will achieve some results literally in a matter of days,” he said in comments that he delivered in an accompanying Twitter video.
On Russia’s side, Leonid Slutsky, a member of the delegation and head of the State Duma’s Committee on International Affairs, was quoted by state-run media outlet RIA Novosti as saying that “significant progress” has been made after the March 13 talks.
“According to my personal expectations, this progress may grow in the coming days into a joint position of both delegations, into documents for signing,” Slutsky said, according to a translation.
A potential agreement between the parties might “save many people” and reduce tensions in the near future, he said.
Neither Russia nor Ukraine indicated what the scope of the agreement could be. No details were provided.
Three previous rounds of negotiations produced few results. Recently, Ukraine and Russia agreed to establish humanitarian and evacuation corridors for civilians in several areas, although both sides accused one another of firing on people.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said on March 13 that Moscow was showing signs of willingness to carry out more significant talks to end the conflict. Sanctions and other forms of economic pressure are “beginning to have some effect,” she said.
“We are seeing some signs to have real, serious negotiations,” Sherman told Fox News.
Objectives of the talks include a bid “to get a ceasefire in the first instance, to get humanitarian [corridors], and to end this invasion,” she said.
Earlier in the day, however, Ukrainian officials accused Russia of carrying out airstrikes on a military training base just 12 miles from the Polish border, as Western officials described the incident as an escalation.
On March 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin told state media outlets that there were “positive shifts” in the talks, but he didn’t elaborate.
A day later, President Joe Biden sent a memorandum to the State Department authorizing that $200 million in weapons and military training be provided to Ukraine’s forces. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the Department of Defense is working to send additional military equipment and weapons.
Fighting across the country has repeatedly raised the specter of nuclear accidents, as fighting has occurred around nuclear power plants.
On March 13, Ukraine said it had restored a broken power line to the decommissioned Chernobyl plant, the scene of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986. The plant was recently knocked off the grid, and it was relying on generators. That raised concerns about its ability to keep spent fuel cool, although the International Atomic Energy Agency downplayed those worries.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.