A ceasefire in hostilities in Ukraine was never going to be agreed Thursday during trilateral talks between Russia, Ukraine and Turkey, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Speaking at a press conference in Antalya after the talks, Lavrov said he had warned his Turkish and Ukrainian counterparts that Russia did not want to create a “parallel track” to the talks already underway along the Belarusian border.
“This is where all the practical issues are discussed, this is where it has been explained in the most detailed way what needs to be done to end this crisis. This includes demilitarization and denazification and the guarantee of Ukraine’s neutral status,” Lavrov said, echoing the rhetoric that Russian President Vladimir Putin has used to justify his invasion of Ukraine.
During the last round of talks with Belarus, Russia presented Belarus with a draft legal document detailing “extremely specific considerations”, with the Ukrainian side assuring it would provide answers, he said.
Russia wants “to have a serious conversation on the Belarusian site”, Lavrov said, underlining the country’s belief that the issue “should be resolved in the context of a comprehensive settlement of the Ukrainian crisis”.
The foreign minister added that he “wasn’t surprised” that Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said it was not possible to reach a ceasefire during the talks on Thursday .
“No one was going to agree on a ceasefire [at this meeting]these proposals and the sequence of steps described in these proposals are well known to the Ukrainian side,” the Russian Foreign Minister continued.
The parties “mainly talked about humanitarian issues at the initiative of our Turkish friends,” Lavrov added.