The Russian and Ukrainian delegations are set to resume the fourth round of peace negotiations on Tuesday after a brief technical break. The talks will be held in a video format, after three rounds of negotiations in person in Belarus.
According to a Ukrainian team member, the fourth round is focused on "peace, ceasefire, the immediate withdrawal of troops and security guarantees". The Russian side has previously said that Russian forces would immediately halt the military operation on four conditions: first, if Ukrainian forces stop fighting back; second, if Kiev accepts a neutral and non-nuclear status; third, if Crimea is acknowledged as Russian territory; and fourth, if the two Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk are recognised as independent states.
Russia started a special military operation in Ukraine on 24 February after the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian forces. Russia said that the aim of its special operation is to demilitarise and "de-Nazify" Ukraine and that only military infrastructure is being targeted. Moscow has repeatedly stressed that it has no plans to occupy Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasised that the goal is to protect the people of Donbass, "who have been subjected to abuse, genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years".
The Donbass militia is also continuing its counteroffensive against Kiev's forces.
In response to Russia’s special operation, Western countries have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow.
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