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We have hope of reaching an agreement with Ukraine – Russia

Russia cabinet member says there is “hope for reaching a agreement” with Ukraine as  talks continue with the intention of finding solution after Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, welcomed what he called a “realistic assessment of what is happening” by Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky and said Russia’s negotiators were cautiously optimistic.

“I’m going off the assessments our negotiators give — they say the negotiations are difficult for obvious reasons, but nonetheless there is a certain hope for reaching a compromise,” Lavrov said in an interview with the RBC news channel on Wednesday. “Some members of the Ukrainian delegation are giving the same assessment,” he added.

Zelensky said overnight that “the positions in the negotiations sound more realistic”, but warned that “time is still needed for the decisions to be in Ukraine’s interests”.
Lavrov said that Russia and Ukraine were discussing “specific wordings that are close to being agreed” at the talks, including security guarantees for Moscow and neutrality for Kyiv.

“The businesslike mood that has started to come through gives hope that we can specifically agree on this topic. Although it is clear that the problem is much broader, even if proclaiming neutrality and declaring guarantees will be a significant step forward.”

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