Maigre: Russia can't tango alone
Although Ukraine arrived in Minsk with little leverage, Russian leader Vladimir Putin was also interested in talks, said Merle Maigre, the security adviser to the Estonian president.
Maigre told ETV last night as the all-night talks began between Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France, that the topics would be much the same as in the Minsk Protocol signed last September.
“From a military perspective, Ukraine is in a complicated situation,” Maigre said, adding that the longer the war goes on the narrower the position of Ukrainian leaders will get.
“Ukraine does not have a good position. But Russia signaled already before that it is interested in talks, or that Putin is interested in talks. So you can't dance this tango alone,” she said.
Roman Vinartšuk, an Estonian diplomat in Kyiv, told ETV that Ukraine is tired of the year-long fight and would welcome a ceasefire, including pulling back heavy artillery.
“Another topic is freeing the kidnapped Ukrainian prisoners of war and other citizens, including Nadiya Savchenko, who essentially has been starving in a Moscow prison for 60 days. And of course Ukraine wants control over its borders between Ukraine and Russia in the Donets Basin, which Russia will not agree to. These are the most important points and ceasefire is priority number one,” Vinartšuk said.
After more than 12 hours, leaders appeared this morning to be on the verge of announcing a decision.