Russia, Ukraine make progress in ceasefire negotiations ?

Russia and Ukraine have made progress on the “critical” articles of a ceasefire agreement being negotiated, but some issues still require decisions by their leaders, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Sunday. “If the parties do not step back from their current positions, we can say that we are hopeful for a ceasefire,” Cavusoglu told local daily Hurriyet. “We see that the parties are close to agreement on fundamental issues,” Cavusoglu said, reiterating his optimism when attending a meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party.

In the past week, Cavusoglu had meetings with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts in Moscow and Lviv, respectively. Speaking to Hurriyet on Saturday, Turkey’s Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said that Moscow and Kiev were negotiating on six points, namely “Ukraine’s neutrality, disarmament and security guarantees, the ‘de-Nazification,’ removal of obstacles on the use of the Russian language in Ukraine, the status of Donbass and the status of Crimea.” On March 10, Turkey hosted the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers on the sidelines of a diplomacy forum for their first high-level negotiations since the onset of the conflict, although the talks did not yield much progress on a ceasefire.