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Main Diplomacy — ISW: China and Turkey forge separate negotiation paths in Ukraine as Kremlin leverages for information operations

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ISW: China and Turkey forge separate negotiation paths in Ukraine as Kremlin leverages for information operations

04 Mar, 2024
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ISW: China and Turkey forge separate negotiation paths in Ukraine as Kremlin leverages for information operations

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China and Turkey continue to pursue their own negotiation platforms for a settlement in Ukraine, which the Kremlin is exploiting to further its own information operations aimed at discouraging continued international support for Ukraine. 

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin and Chinese Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs Li Hiu met in Moscow on March 2 to discuss China’s desire to facilitate peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. Galuzin and Li noted that it is “impossible” to discuss a settlement in Ukraine without Russia’s participation and without “taking into account [Russia’s] interests in the security sphere.” Galuzin and Li added that Western and Ukrainian “ultimatums” and “dialogue formats” only “harm the prospects for a settlement and cannot serve as [the settlement’s] basis.” Li is expected to visit Ukraine and unspecified EU states following his meetings in Russia.

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan stated during the Antalya Diplomatic Forum on March 3 that Turkey hopes talks for a ceasefire in Ukraine will “start soon” and that Turkey believes that “both sides have reached the limits” of what they can achieve through military means.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently announced that Turkey is prepared to provide another negotiation platform for Russia and Ukraine, which Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov publicly rejected on March 1.

Russian officials continue to falsely blame Ukraine and the West for the lack of peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, despite numerous public Russian statements suggesting or explicitly stating that Russia is not interested in good faith peace negotiations with Ukraine.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed during a panel at the Antalya Diplomatic Forum on March 2 that Ukraine lacks the “goodwill” to negotiate with Russia, insinuating that the lack of substantive negotiations is Ukraine’s fault and not Russia’s fault.

Lavrov claimed that people who misunderstand which party is at fault “lack understanding” about the reality of the situation. Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya claimed during an interview with Russian TV channel Rossiya 24 on March 3 that Russia has never refused negotiations, but that Ukraine refuses to talk to Russia. Nebenzya stated that there are currently no negotiation efforts with Ukraine directly or through intermediaries. 

ISW continues to assess that any Russian statements suggesting that Russia is or always has been interested in peace negotiations are very likely efforts to feign interest to prompt preemptive Western concessions regarding Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity and place the onus for negotiations on Ukraine and the West.

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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