Ukraine’s Dmytro Kuleba stated his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov had suggested he did not have the authority to negotiate even a 24-hour ceasefire or a humanitarian corridor in Mariupol; the besieged southern Ukrainian city under heavy fire from Russian artillery.
But Lavrov left the door open for further talks and an eventual meeting between Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky.
Moscow’s position, at least rhetorically, has seemed to soften in recent days; Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated the war could stop “in a moment” if Kyiv decided to a list of demands that have seemed to narrow since the beginning of the war.
The priority has switched to neutrality for Ukraine and the status of Russian-occupied regions. At the same time, the Russian foreign ministry stated it was not seeking to overthrow the Kyiv government.
But the Kremlin has resumed its military onslaught regardless; it struck a maternity hospital in Mariupol with missiles and strived to move relentlessly closer to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.
On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron declared that Russian forces were “indiscriminately” using lethal weapons against civilian targets.
Analysts stated that the road ahead for any negotiation would be difficult. However, Moscow’s slower than anticipated military progress and the stinging cost of economic sanctions set by a united West had potentially opened an option for a compromise.
Nikolai Petrov, a senior research fellow for Eurasia at Chatham House, stated that the position of Moscow in this war has weakened; they have not been capable of implementing their initial plans.
For Putin, the imposing of sanctions has been a horrible thing. They are killing the Russian economy and acting on the people around them.
Petrov spoke Putin faced an increasingly difficult situation, including with his army.