Journalist Farida Rustamova has obtained a list of the written proposals Ukrainian negotiators delivered to their Russian counterparts in Istanbul on March 29, 2022. Russia and Ukraine have not agreed to these measures, but Moscow says it will study and discuss the ideas. Russia’s lead negotiator, Kremlin adviser Vladimir Medinsky summarised some of these proposals to journalists on 29 March, while Rustamova got access to the text of the communiqué. Meduza translated Ukraine's proposals below. Kyiv's fundamental offer to Russia is “permanent neutrality.”
Proposal 1: Ukraine proclaims itself a neutral state, promising to remain non-aligned with any blocs and to refrain from developing nuclear weapons – in exchange for international legal guarantees. Possible guarantor states include Russia, Great Britain, China, the United States, France, Turkey, Germany, Canada, Italy, Poland and Israel, and other states would also be welcome to join the treaty.
Proposal 2: These international security guarantees for Ukraine would not extend to Crimea, Sevastopol, or certain areas of the Donbas. The parties to the agreement would need to define the boundaries of these regions or agree that each party understands these boundaries differently.
Proposal 3: Ukraine vows not to join any military coalitions or host any foreign military bases or troop contingents. Any international military exercises would be possible only with the consent of the guarantor states. For their part, these guarantors confirm their intention to promote Ukraine’s membership in the European Union.
Proposal 4: Ukraine and the guarantor states agree that (in the event of aggression, any armed attack against Ukraine, or any military operation against Ukraine) each of the guarantor states, after urgent and immediate mutual consultations (which must be held within three days) on the exercise of the right to individual or collective self-defence (as recognized by Article 51 of the UN Charter) will provide (in response to and on the basis of an official appeal by Ukraine) assistance to Ukraine, as a permanently neutral state under attack. This aid will be facilitated through the immediate implementation of such individual or joint actions as may be necessary, including the closure of Ukraine’s airspace, the provision of necessary weapons, the use of armed force with the goal of restoring and then maintaining Ukraine’s security as a permanently neutral state.
Proposal 5: Any such armed attack (any military operation at all) and all measures taken as a result will be reported immediately to the UN Security Council. Such measures will cease when the UNSC takes the measures needed to restore and maintain international peace and security.
Proposal 6: Implementing protections against possible provocations, the agreement will regulate the mechanism for fulfilling Ukraine’s security guarantees based on the results of consultations between Ukraine and the guarantor states.
Proposal 7: The treaty provisionally applies from the date it is signed by Ukraine and all or most guarantor states. The treaty enters force after (1) Ukraine’s permanently neutral status is approved in a nationwide referendum, (2) the introduction of the appropriate amendments to Ukraine’s Constitution, and (3) ratification in the parliaments of Ukraine and the guarantor states.
Proposal 8: The parties’ desire to resolve issues related to Crimea and Sevastopol shall be committed to bilateral negotiations between Ukraine and Russia for a period of 15 years. Ukraine and Russia also pledge not to resolve these issues by military means and to continue diplomatic resolution efforts.
Proposal 9: The parties shall continue consultations (with the involvement of other guarantor states) to prepare and agree on the provisions of a Treaty on Security Guarantees for Ukraine, ceasefire modalities, the withdrawal of troops and other paramilitary formations, and the opening and ensuring of safe-functioning humanitarian corridors on an ongoing basis, as well as the exchange of dead bodies and the release of prisoners of war and interned civilians.
Proposal 10: The parties consider it possible to hold a meeting between the presidents of Ukraine and Russia for the purpose of signing a treaty and/or adopting political decisions regarding other remaining unresolved issues.
This article first appeared in the independent media outlet Meduza here.
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