6 Apr 2022 10:58 am
The West is deliberately fomenting “hysteria” over the alleged mass killings in the Ukrainian city of Bucha in order to disrupt peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv. This was announced by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday.
The alleged events in the city of Bucha, which Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov described as a “provocation,” were brought into play just as progress was being made in the peace talks in Istanbul. Lavrov highlighted:
“We are inclined to think that the reason lies in the desire to find a reason to disrupt the ongoing negotiations. And this at the very moment when, as they say, the light, albeit not very bright, but but began to dawn.”
“On March 29, for the first time in the entire period of negotiations between our delegations, the Ukrainian side submitted a written vision of what the treaty on the status of Ukraine and security guarantees could look like.”
According to the Russian foreign minister, in the course of negotiations with Russia, Kyiv “for the first time put down on paper its willingness” to declare itself neutral, non-bloc and non-nuclear. In addition, Ukraine has expressed a refusal to station weapons of foreign states on its territory or to conduct exercises there with the participation of foreign armed forces without obtaining the consent of all guarantor states of the future treaty, including Russia.
According to Lavrov, the security guarantees of the agreement completely ruled out the eastward expansion of NATO and guaranteed “indivisible security on the European continent”. Lavrov added:
“Once again we want to call on those who are leading the actions in Kyiv – and we know who they are – to realize their responsibility for security in Europe.”
“Russia is ready for this talk, but in order for us to make real progress and not just the appearance of progress, we insist that a clear signal be sent to Kyiv not to engage in acts of sabotage, otherwise we risk the fate of the Minsk people to repeat agreements and we will never agree to that.”
Hundreds of murdered civilians were reportedly discovered in the city north of Kyiv after Russian troops withdrew from Bucha. Ukraine blames Russian troops, who until recently occupied the area, for the massacre. However, Moscow vehemently denies the allegations. While Western politicians sided with Ukraine on the issue, China has called for an investigation.
Ukraine signaled that it remains interested in a diplomatic settlement of the dispute with Russia. According to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, a peace agreement between Kyiv and Moscow is possible. He explained on Monday:
“Yes, because Ukraine must find peace. We are in 21st century Europe. We will continue our diplomatic and military efforts.”
Another round of negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv had previously taken place on March 29 in Istanbul. Before that, representatives of both sides held talks in Belarus. Talks began on February 28 in the Gomel region and continued on March 3-7. The talks then continued in video conferences.
More on the subject – Former UN weapons inspector: Bucha is useful to the Ukrainian government