16 Mar 2022 11:34

There is hope for compromise at talks with Ukraine - Lavrov

MOSCOW. March 16 (Interfax) - There is hope for reaching a compromise at the Russia-Ukraine talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"I rely on the opinion of our negotiators. They say that negotiations have not been easy for apparent reasons but still there is certain hope for reaching a compromise," Lavrov said in an interview with the RBC channel.

"The same opinion has been expressed by certain members of the Ukrainian delegation. President [Volodymyr] Zelensky himself has recently made a number of interesting statements," Lavrov said, adding that the Ukrainian president described the stances presented by the sides at negotiations as "more realistic."

"This is a more realistic opinion of Mr. Zelensky on what's going on. Because, clearly, he was making quite confrontational statements earlier," Lavrov said.

According to Lavrov, the sides are close to agreeing on a number of wordings in the agreements with Ukraine concerning its neutral status and security guarantees.

"The neutral status [of Ukraine] is being seriously discussed, clearly, together with the security guarantees. This is exactly what President Putin said at a press conference in February: any acceptable variants, any mutually acceptable guarantees of security for Ukraine and all countries, including Russia, except NATO enlargement," Lavrov said in an interview with the RBC television channel.

"This is what is being discussed at the negotiations. There are absolutely specific wordings and, in my opinion, the sides are close to agreeing on them," he said.