Turkey Says Progress Made in Ukraine Talks as Zelensky Warns of WW3 if Diplomacy Fails

by | Mar 20, 2022

Turkey Says Progress Made in Ukraine Talks as Zelensky Warns of WW3 if Diplomacy Fails

by | Mar 20, 2022

Moscow and Kiev are nearing agreement on a number of key issues in talks to end fighting in Ukraine, Turkey’s top diplomat said. While the progress marks a positive sign for diplomacy, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that a failure to strike a deal could kick off a “third World War.”

In an interview with Hürriyet on Sunday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said “there is convergence between the two sides” and that they “have almost reached agreement” on four “critical” concessions from Ukraine in exchange for a ceasefire.

Those four points include Kiev’s agreement to neutrality and non-membership in the NATO alliance, the demilitarization and – as Russia puts it – ‘denazification’ of Ukraine, as well as the removal of restrictions on the Russian language. Cavusoglu did not spell out exactly what each concession would entail. 

Though any agreement will likely require approval from the leaders of both countries, the last point should be easily accepted by Zelensky, a native Russian speaker whose Russian-language film ‘Love in the Big City 2’ was banned in Ukraine in 2018 under a law creating “quotas for Ukrainian-language content.”

In exchange, Russia would declare a ceasefire and withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory, Cavusoglu said. 

However, the FM failed to mention several major demands previously made by the Russian side, leaving the status of the talks and the true likelihood for a final deal unclear. Moscow has insisted on independence for the Donetsk and Luhansk republics in the Donbass region, and for Ukraine to accept its territorial claim to the Crimean Peninsula, which has been under Russian control since 2014.

Further, fighting in Mariupol remains intense, suggesting Russia will seek to wrest the large port city from Ukrainian control even as progress is reported in the negotiations. Attempts to create humanitarian corridors to let civilians escape the city have seen some success, though Kiev accuses Moscow of continued and indiscriminate shelling. On Sunday, the Russian military said it would allow non-combatants to flee along certain roads for a brief window of time, and that fighters could leave with them so long as they abandoned their weapons.

“Ukrainian armed units and foreign mercenaries will be able to leave the city without weapons and munitions along a route agreed with Ukraine,” said Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, chief of Russia’s National Defense Management Center. “All who lay down their arms are guaranteed safe passage out of Mariupol.”

That offer was rejected by Kiev, however, with Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk telling a local newspaper “There can be no talk of any surrender, laying down of arms.”

“We have already informed the Russian side about this. I wrote: ‘Instead of wasting time on eight pages of letters, just open the corridor,’” she added.

As diplomats seek to hammer out a ceasefire and deescalate hostilities in Ukraine, Zelensky appeared with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Sunday and said he would be open for direct talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but warned that failure to reach an agreement could have dire consequences.

“I’m ready for negotiations with him. I was ready for the last two years. And I think that without negotiations we cannot end this war,” he said.

“We have to use any format, any chance in order to have a possibility of negotiating, [the] possibility of talking to Putin. But if these attempts fail, that would mean that this is a third World War.”

About Kyle Anzalone and Will Porter

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of Antiwar.com and news editor of the Libertarian Institute. Will Porter is the assistant news editor of the Libertarian Institute and a staff writer and editor at RT. Kyle Anzalone and Will Porter host Conflicts of Interest along with Connor Freeman.

Our Books

latest book lineup.

Related Articles

Related

News Roundup 2/29/2024

News Roundup 2/29/2024

Ukraine Democrats Signal They Would Protect Speaker Johnson If He Brought Ukraine Aid to Floor for a Vote AWC European Official Says Everyone Knows There Are Western Special Operations Forces in Ukraine AWC Senator Claims American Parts Found in Russian Weapons The...

read more
News Roundup 2/29/2024

News Roundup 2/28/2024

Ukraine Hungary’s Parliament Ratifies Sweden’s NATO Membership AWC Washington Shipped Weapons to Ukraine Without Long-Term Sustainment Plans Defense Post CIA Built 12 Spy Bases in Ukraine Near the Russian Border Over Past Decade AWC Ukraine Military Intelligence Chief...

read more
News Roundup 2/29/2024

News Roundup 2/26/2024

Ukraine Biden Calls Putin a ‘Crazy SOB’ AWC NATO Chief Gives Ukraine Green Light for Attacks Inside Russia AWC China US Congressional Delegation Led by House’s Top China Hawk Visits Taiwan AWC Israel  $14 Billion US Aid Package for Israel Crafted to Prepare for...

read more
News Roundup 2/29/2024

News Roundup 2/22/24

Assange Judge In Assange Extradition Case Previously Worked For MI6 Declassified UK Ukraine US Officials See Ukraine as an Active and Bountiful Military Research Opportunity WashPo Ukrainian Commanders Say They Barely Have Enough Soldiers to Hold Back Russia AP China...

read more
News Roundup 2/29/2024

News Roundup 2/21/2024

Assange Assange’s Wife, Lawyer Warn He Will Die If Extradited to the US AWC UK UK Nuclear Missile Test Fails FT Russia 70% of Americans Want Diplomatic Settlement to War in Ukraine RS Biden Nearing Decision to Send Long-Range Missiles to Ukraine NBC News Bulgaria...

read more
News Roundup 2/29/2024

News Roundup 2/19/2024

Ukraine Ukraine Withdraws from Key Donbas City of Avdiivka AWC Officials in Hungary Snub Congressional Delegation Pushing NATO Expansion NYT Israel Israeli Military Says Hamas Will Not Be Defeated in Gaza Offensive AWC After Call With Biden, Netanyahu Rejects...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This