October 3, 2022

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- A kind of Putin theater - VG

– A kind of Putin theater – VG

The foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine will meet face-to-face on Thursday after 14 days of brutal war. NUPI researcher Julie Wilhelmson does not think Putin will compromise.

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On Thursday morning, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmitry Kuleba will meet in Antalya, Turkey, according to reports. Defender.

Ahead of 09.30, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova announced that talks were underway.

According to the NTB, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the meeting as “extremely important”.

Peskov says Russia will discuss two main demands: Ukraine’s recognition of Crimea as Russian territory and independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.

Reuters reports that Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has limited expectations for talks with Lavrov.

The initiative for the meeting comes from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who wants the country to play a mediating role.

– Hope that will pave the way for a permanent ceasefire. Erdogan said on Wednesday that we were working to prevent the crisis from turning into a tragedy.

Location in Turkey: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (right) was received by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday in Antalya.

– Against the back wall

– It should negotiate not only with the wall on his back, but also under strong military pressure. There is no real symmetry here, says Khair Flick, a professor of area studies at the University of Oslo.

He believes that when there are Russian forces in Ukraine, when there are civilians in the middle of the firing line, when refugee corridors are bombed, if there really is an invasion, negotiations are a tough word.

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– I do not see Ukraine benefiting from giving up territories to Russia, says Flick.

Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014 during the Ukraine crisis. In the same year, pro-Russian separatists established two separate republics of eastern Ukraine near the Russian border.

Shortly after the talks began, Reuters reported that Ukraine’s advisers to the Ukrainian president had announced plans to withdraw Crimea and the Donas region.

– I think the demands from the Kremlin are difficult. Julie Wilhelmson, a senior researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Foreign Policy (NUPI), says they are not ready to compromise.

This was stated by Russian negotiator Leonid Slutsky on Wednesday, according to the RIA:

Russia’s delegation to peace talks with Ukraine does not reach a point.

The dead were buried Wednesday in a mass grave in the suburbs of Mariupol. Those killed by Russian grenades cannot be buried.

Wilhelmson points out that Russia is accelerating its use of military force, and that Ukraine does not have the support of NATO countries and sees itself as a no-fly zone.

– Then I think Russia thinks they are the strongest party, Wilhelmson tells Vijay.

– We don’t know where we are

She has the idea that the Ukrainians are fighting valiantly, but in a very hopeless situation.

Of the two parties, most likely Zhelensky will seek to give something and save his own people. But NUPI’s Russia expert says it’s not sure if we’ve got there now.

NTNU Torbjørn Lindstrøm Knutsen, professor of political science, thinks it is strange that high-level conversations take place at the beginning of a war process.

– It makes me believe that this is a kind of Putin’s theater – he launched a fierce attack to get good negotiation cards in hand, thus leaving Zhelensky in the Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk.

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– But will the Ukrainian president do it?

– If Zhelensky is rational, he will leave the Crimea. The peninsula is of strategic importance to Russia and is a base for their Black Sea navy. There are more Russian speakers in Crimea, and they have a strong sympathy for Russia.

A building in Mariupol was destroyed after a Russian artillery attack. Photo taken on March 9th.

– Let’s wait and see

Nutschen also believes that it will be difficult for the Russian – backed republics to unite with the new Ukraine. Nevertheless, he doubts that Ukraine will accept Russia’s demands on the table on Thursday.

– I think Zelenskyj will wait and see how it happens. The Russians took advantage of many sectors, and the attack on Kiev did not cause disaster. And Zelensky has the greatest support in the West.

– If he does not give up, will he suffer great losses?

– Yes, they will threaten if the Russians carry out violent attacks. The question is how far Putin is prepared to go to destroy Ukraine, and how long Zhelensky can last.

– weakened their position

Geir Flikke says President Zelenskyj sends signals that the Ukrainian government is looking for something in the direction of a major Budapest memo, namely security guarantees from several actors.

He cites the 1994 agreement between Russia, Britain and the United States to honor Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and borders – in exchange for Ukraine transferring its nuclear weapons to Russia.

– The agreement was already broken in 2014, so Ukraine has no reason to believe such events. They have had a bitter experience in that regard, says a Russian expert at the University of Oslo.

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A pregnant woman was abducted after a Russian artillery shell attacked a maternity hospital in Mariupol on Wednesday.

Flikke also believes that Ukraine knows where the borders for its involvement in the NATO conflict are heading, and their demand not to fly across the country has not been met.

– This weakens their militancy and their negotiating position, says Flick.

– Compulsory diplomacy

Wilhelmsen thinks that Zhelensky can expect some more time to bring in more weapons from the West, while at the same time seeing the fighting spirit and motivation of the Russian invading forces weaken.

But if the Russian war turns out to be so brutal that many Ukrainians are killed and Kiev is bombed, it will be a completely different question. Then he can choose to abandon life and preserve the cities and cultural heritage of Ukraine.

The NUPI researcher believes the talks are real for Russia, once they think they can get their way.

– But until the invasion goes worse, Putin will always be confident of using strong military means, either through forced diplomacy or if he does not achieve what he wants at the negotiating table.

Goals he does not want to give up

Professor Geir Flikke reminds us that Russia was a bad time.

– The war has repercussions on domestic politics, when they are not even allowed to use the word war in the media, Flickr says Russia’s weekly inflation is 2.2 percent.

Julie Wilhelmsen did not think that the Russian president would demand all of Crimea and the divided republics.

– We must not have the illusion that preventing Ukraine from becoming a western country with its relations with the European Union and NATO does not really apply to the Putin regime. That is the goal he does not want to give up.

In Ukraine the war points are in the south-east and around the capital Kiev: