Ukraine has offered neutrality in talks with Russia – what does that mean? | Ukraine

Ukraine offered to accept becoming neutral if it received adequate security guarantees from Western countries, abandoning its aspirations to join NATO. But analysts say these moves require amending the constitution or holding a referendum, which cannot be done in wartime.

What is neutrality?

Under international law, a country is neutral if it is It will not intervene in situations of international armed conflict other warring parties. It cannot allow a belligerent party to use its territory as a base for military operations, take sides or provide it with military equipment.

What did Zelensky say?

President Volodymyr Zelensky admitted on March 15 that Ukraine was unable to accede NATO.

“We’ve heard for years that the door is open, but we’ve also heard that we can’t join in,” Zelensky said in remarks seen as abandoning Ukraine. NATO Aspirations Some Ukrainians saw it as an unacceptable concession.

At peace talks in Turkey on Tuesday, Ukrainian negotiators said Kyiv was ready to accept neutrality if Western countries such as the United States, France and Britain, under an international agreement, offered binding security guarantees.

However, Ukraine’s aspiration to join NATO is written into the country’s constitution, which cannot be amended during martial law, as is now in place, or during a state of emergency.

Can Ukraine change its constitution?

Any change would require 300 out of 450 lawmakers to agree to the measure in two separate parliamentary sessions, which would then be ratified by the Constitutional Court.

“There are not 300 votes today, but if the conflict continues and we see that NATO is not helping, opinions may change,” said Ukrainian political expert Volodymyr Fesenko.

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Zelensky’s disappointment with insufficient NATO aid shifted public opinion. For us, NATO is the simplest and least painful concession.”

What do the Ukrainians want?

According to the latest poll conducted by the polling company earlier this month, 44% of Ukrainians feel their country should join NATO, down two percentage points from the poll conducted in February before the Russian invasion began.

42% believe that Ukraine should continue to cooperate with NATO but not join.

“Ukrainians want to join NATO, but if Europe Introducing EU membership and proposing a financial package to rebuild Ukraine, the NATO discussion can be forgotten for a while,” said Mykola Davyduk, a Kyiv-based political analyst.

“If Britain, France and the United States – three nuclear powers – provided security guarantees, such an alliance would be stronger than integration into NATO,” he added.

Ukrainian negotiators in Turkey on Tuesday compared the security guarantees they want to Article 5 of the NATO treaty in which members agree to defend each other in the event of military aggression.

with Agence France-Presse

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