Earlier in the day, Russian presidential aide Vladimir Medinsky, head of the Russian delegation, said that the delay in the start of negotiations by the Ukrainian side had become a “diplomatic tradition.”
Medinsky recalled that the third round of negotiations was supposed to start at 15:00 Moscow time, but at present the Ukrainian side is still not in place.
On March 4, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced the need to negotiate with Kiev “in silence” and not to make them public.
Russia and Ukraine held two stages of negotiations – on February 28 in the Gomel region of Belarus and on March 3 in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. As a result, the parties managed to reach an understanding on a number of important issues, including the organization of humanitarian corridors for the civilian population.
On the same day, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, during a conversation with foreign journalists, invited Russian leader Vladimir Putin to sit down at the negotiating table. However, in the afternoon, one of the members of the Ukrainian delegation said that Kyiv did not send official appeals to Moscow about a direct dialogue with the President of the Russian Federation.
In mid-February, due to the aggravation of the situation in the Donbass as a result of shelling by the Ukrainian military, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics announced the evacuation of the civilian population to the Russian Federation and asked for recognition of independence.
On February 21, Vladimir Putin signed a corresponding decree. On February 24, he initiated the start of a special operation to protect the civilian population of Donbass. As the press secretary of the head of state Dmitry Peskov clarified, the special operation has two goals – the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine. According to him, both of these aspects pose a threat to the Russian state and people.