August 10, 2022

Russia and Ukraine could hold a new round of peace talks as soon as Monday, according to Ukrainian authorities — with US officials crediting the crippling economic sanctions against the Kremlin for the move.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, said Sunday that both parties are working with mediators from Israel and Turkey to sort out potential topics of discussion — including a cease-fire and a withdrawal of Russian troops — and where and when the talks would be held.

“As soon as mutual legal formats are worked out, a meeting will be scheduled — the fourth round of negotiations,” he told the Russian publication Kommersant. “It could be tomorrow, the day after tomorrow.

“[Russian officials] have started to talk about something and not just throw out ultimatums,” he said.

Both sides reported making major progress in their ongoing bid toward peace, giving their most positive assessments since war broke out and negotiations began, even as the fighting stretched into its 17th day and inched closer to the Polish border.


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“We will not concede in principle on any positions. Russia now understands this. Russia is already beginning to talk constructively,” Podolyak added in a recorded statement.

Ukraine adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said a fourth meeting would be scheduled “as soon as mutual legal formats are worked out.”
Sergei Kholodilin/BelTA Pool Photo via AP

Russia state media reported Russian negotiator Leonid Slutsky was also optimistic.

“According to my personal expectations, this progress may grow in the coming days into a joint position of both delegations, into documents for signing,” Slutsky said.

Kyiv and Moscow have engaged in three rounds of face-to-face peace talks in Belarus, but they have focused mainly on humanitarian issues, and in recent days, negotiations have taken place by video conference.

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Wendy Sherman.
US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said the global economic sanctions against Russia are having the intended effect.
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The developments came as US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said the global economic sanctions against Russia are showing signs they are having the intended effect of forcing it back to the negotiating table.

Sherman said the US has two objectives: to support the Ukrainian people amid the Russian invasion and to turn the screws on Russian President Vladimir Putin to agree to a cease-fire, to open humanitarian corridors in Ukraine and to end the war.  

“That pressure is beginning to have some effect. We are seeing some signs of a willingness to have real serious negotiations,” Sherman said on “Fox News Sunday,” while admitting that Putin is still intent on “destroying Ukraine.”

A member of the Ukrainian forces checks a local resident.
Russian attacks have led to more than 2.5 million Ukrainians fleeing the country.
Gleb Garanich/REUTERS

Podolyak said Ukraine also wants to press Russia on providing compensation for the destruction of civilian structures, attacks that have created a humanitarian crisis and led to more than 2.5 million Ukrainians fleeing the country.

“Despite all the statements that strikes are inflicted only on military infrastructure, strikes have been carried out very often and recently especially intensively against civilian infrastructure,” he said.

Meanwhile, national security adviser Jake Sullivan and State Department officials will meet in Rome on Monday with a Chinese foreign policy adviser, Yang Jiechi, the White House said Sunday.

Volodymyr Zelensky.
Kyiv and Moscow have engaged in three rounds of face-to-face peace talks in Belarus.
Ukrinformukrinform/DDP via ZUMA Press
Vladimir Putin.
Russia and Ukraine have focused mainly on humanitarian issues during peace talks.
Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

The pair will “discuss ongoing efforts to manage the competition between our two countries and discuss the impact of Russia’s war against Ukraine on regional and global security,” the Biden administration said.

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The US has accused China of helping to spread the false Russian claims that the US was supporting chemical and biological labs in Ukraine.

The administration also warned Beijing of trying to help Moscow skirt the economic sanctions imposed by the US and its western allies.

Jake Sullivan.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan will meet with Chinese foreign policy adviser Yang Jiechi to discuss the impact of Russia’s war against Ukraine on security.
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

“We have made it clear to not just Beijing, but every country in the world, that if they think that they can basically bail Russia out, they can give Russia a workaround to the sanctions that we’ve imposed, they should have another thing coming because we will ensure that neither China, nor anyone else, can compensate Russia for these losses,” Sullivan said Sunday on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”

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