Russia-Ukraine talks yield agreement to meet again in two weeks
Representatives from Russia and Ukraine will meet for another round of talks in two weeks after leaders huddled on Wednesday amid increased tensions in the region.
Kremlin envoy Dmitry Kozak told reporters in Paris that the two sides will participate in more discussions in two weeks in Berlin, according to Bloomberg.
The announcement came after advisers to the presidents of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France met for eight hours. Kozak said the discussions were “not easy,” according to Bloomberg.
Andriy Yermak, Ukraine’s presidential chief of staff, however, said there was a “small step forward” on Wednesday, the outlet reported.
He said the individuals taking part in the talks conveyed a “desire to work on agreement” regarding the Donbas region.
Representatives from the four countries reportedly reiterated their devotion to the 2015 Minsk peace agreement, which tamed hostilities in the Donbas region. Individuals who took part in the talks also said they are behind unrestricted compliance with the cease-fire.
News of another round of talks being scheduled comes as concerns are rising among the U.S. and its allies that Russia is preparing an incursion against Kyiv. Russia has amassed more than 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border, though Moscow has said it is not planning such an effort.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken has warned of a “swift” and “severe” response from the U.S. and European allies if a “single additional Russian force” crosses into Ukraine.
Russia has pointed to a number of demands as justification for its massive troop presence, one of which is that NATO bars Ukraine from joining the alliance.
Blinken announced on Wednesday that the U.S. delivered a written response to Russia in regard to its security demands. He did not, however, detail the letter.
In the meantime, the U.S. said it is putting forces on “heightened alert,” and NATO put troops on standby. Additionally, the U.S. has ordered family members of government employees at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv to depart the country and is allowing nonessential staffers to leave.
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