Austria could become an intermediary between Russia and Ukraine. This statement was made on Thursday, March 2, by outgoing Czech President Milos Zeman following talks with Austrian leader Alexander Van der Bellen in Prague.
Zeman noted that the neutral status makes Austria a suitable candidate for the settlement of relations between states in a conflict.
“Of course, I don’t want to interfere in the internal affairs of Austria, I just noticed that in a certain context, for example, when it comes to the role of an intermediary, neutrality can be a benefit,” the Czech president quotes CT24.
Earlier, on February 28, columnist Uri Friedman wrote in an article for The Atlantic that the conflict in Ukraine could drag on for years, and the start of the negotiation process would depend on the intervention of a third party.
On February 24, The Wall Street Journal reported that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron had called on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to hold talks with Moscow. The corresponding request was made during the February visit of the Ukrainian leader to Paris.
The day before, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that the conflict in Ukraine would most likely end with peace talks. He drew attention to the fact that the parameters for the end of hostilities “will be determined by the Ukrainians themselves.”
In turn, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pointed out that same month that world leaders were not trying to persuade Ukraine to return to peace talks. According to him, Western leaders refused to negotiate, and also forced the Kiev regime to withdraw from the negotiation process at the very moment when there was still an opportunity to end it politically.
The special operation to protect Donbass, which Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on February 24, 2022, continues. The decision was made against the background of the aggravation of the situation in the region due to shelling by the Ukrainian military.
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