After Ukraine proposed negotiations, Russia voiced a demand for Ukraine's neutrality and non-aligned status. However, such a demand cannot be fulfilled by any representative of Ukraine, because the aspiration to NATO is fixed in the Russian Constitution, and the results of the negotiations will be discussed by the Verkhovna Rada. Expert Yevgen Magda believes that Russia's voiced demands indicate an inadequate assessment of the situation in the Kremlin.
Frontnews: Is Zelensky's proposal for negotiations a mistake because Russia will put forward conditions for Ukraine's recognition of the DNR and LNR, as well as - neutral status? Or did Putin misunderstand him?
Y.M.: I think that conditions have not been formed now. Zelensky assesses the situation as a whole soberly, but in my opinion, he fears that Ukrainian losses will be too heavy. That's why he's going to negotiate, and Putin will demand his own, and that's obvious.
Frontnews: Does Russia understand that even if Ukraine recognizes the DNR and LNR, no other state will recognize them, and the U.S. sanctions will not be lifted?
Y.M.: I think that the very idea of negotiations with Russia has not yet matured. Putin is not ready for these negotiations. Based on the demands he makes, based on that appeal to the Ukrainian military to take over. Don't forget that Russia lost more soldiers in two days than it lost in the entire second war in Chechnya. And when combined with economic sanctions against Russia, this could have an unexpected effect - a wave effect that would sweep away Putin and all those who support his regime.
In these negotiations, first of all, we need an international mediator.
Frontnews: In other words, Ukraine still has reserves not to capitulate, but to offer its conditions as well?
Y.M.: Ukraine must go to negotiations after Russia stops its aggressive actions against Ukraine. And thirdly, these negotiations cannot take place on the Russian agenda. That is, there will be no discussion of Ukraine's neutrality or rejection of Euro-Atlantic integration, I think. Let Putin think about how to keep his soldiers alive. This is a much more urgent task for him.