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Ukraine to take Russian language in a Pyrrhic victory for Putin?

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine more than three-weeks-ago the two countries have held several rounds of peace talks to thrash out a deal. To date, slow progress has been made with delegations from both sides holding firm on their key demands for the war to end.

Alexander Rodnyansky, an adviser to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, told Politico that some areas of the peace talks are “relatively easy” to agree on.

He said one such part would be to adopt Russian as the official language of some regions in Ukraine.

The self-declared republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, which contain a large Russian-ethnic population, would likely be among the regions where this would be employed.

Mr Rodnyansky said: “So we can make the Russian language, you know, perhaps a regional language or something, we can talk about that because, again, that’s a nonissue, in essence.”

READ MORE: Russian troops cut off in devastating blow to Putin’s war plan

The presidential adviser explained that accepting Moscow’s demands for what it calls the “denazification” of Ukrainian street names would also be straight-forward to agree.

He added: “There’s these issues with certain cities that have their streets named after certain individuals who they consider Nazis, whatever, whether that’s true or not.

“Obviously, we disagree with that, but that’s their formulation. But changing the names of the streets is not a big issue.

“So we can do that. That’s really what they need to sell to their populace.”

President Putin also wants Ukraine to cede the Peninsula of Crimea to Russia and recognise it as Russian territory.

Crimea was originally annexed by Russia in 2014 and it’s this development that prompted civil war to break out in eastern Ukraine.

Around a fortnight-ago the Kremlin’s official spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, revealed that Moscow is also seeking Kyiv to amend its constitution and declare neutrality between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and Russia.

He said: “Ukraine is an independent state and can live as it wishes, but under conditions of neutrality.”

Mr Rodnyansky said that the issue of neutrality is again something that Ukraine is happy to negotiate so long as a “compromise” can be reached.

He said: “The neutrality issue is something where we can find compromise in the sense that we have to have a security guarantee, a tangible security guarantee for Ukraine going forward.

“If it’s not NATO, then something like the Budapest Memorandum, but much more concrete.

“So if our sovereignty is violated, we need other concrete steps, security guarantees that are provided by the states.

“If we get them, that would be sufficient at this point to say that we can delay our NATO ambitions, especially given the fact that NATO has said ‘no’ to us anyway. So that’s relatively easy, I would say.”



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