The stage is set for a meeting between Russia and Ukraine on Monday at the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, near the Pripyat River.
Is this a diplomatic breakthrough or an afterthought as Russia continues its offensive in Ukraine?
###: Ukraine calls for Russia meeting at Belarus border as Moscow forces move closer to Kiev
Let’s be clear what this is not: the meeting is not a summit between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Instead, it is a meeting between delegations from both sides. Zelensky’s office said Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko called the Ukrainian president on Sunday and offered security guarantees. yield.”
But can Ukraine accept guarantees from Lukashenko? This is the same leader whose authorities forced a Ryanair flight over Belarusian airspace last year over a ‘security warning’ and arrested a young Belarusian dissident, sparking international outrage.
Monday’s scheduled meeting follows a series of statements from the Kremlin, which previously claimed that the Ukrainian side had opposed Russia’s proposal to meet in Belarus with a proposal to meet in Warsaw and then cut off contact. . Zelensky’s office denied claims that they refused to negotiate.
What the encounter might bring: Zelensky himself had low expectations of the encounter on Sunday, and it’s tempting to assume that the encounter at the border will yield little. But it at least offers Putin some potential scope for a way out of the war in Ukraine, if his troops on the battlefield continue to face setbacks against Ukrainian forces, CNN reported.