It’s been over a month since Russian forces invaded neighboring Ukraine, and violence continues to ravage the Eastern European country.
Yet in a hopeful development, The Washington Times reported on Tuesday that Russian and Ukrainian negotiators may be moving towards a breakthrough.
According to the Times, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address on Tuesday that talks taking place in Istanbul, Turkey have produced promising signs.
Zelenskyy says the “talks are positive” but violence continues
However, the beleaguered leader was quick to add that he has difficulty trusting “the words coming from representatives of the country that continue fighting to destroy us.”
“We can say the signals we are receiving from the talks are positive, but they do not drown out the explosions of Russian shells,” Zelenskyy explained.
“The Russian army still has significant potential to continue attacks against our state,” he continued. “Therefore, we are not reducing our defensive efforts.”
Among the developments was a pledge from Russia to pull its forces back from Ukraine’s capital city, a concession that Secretary of State Tony Blinken reacted to with skepticism.
Progress made despite Biden’s gaffes
Blinken was quoted as telling reporters in Morocco on Tuesday that any move away from Kyiv could well be an attempt to divert the world’s attention from renewed attempts to take territory in the country’s south and east.
“There is what Russia says and there is what Russia does, and we’re focused on the latter,” Blinken said. “And what Russia is doing is the continued brutalization of Ukraine.”
President Joe Biden also seemed unimpressed by the news, saying, “We’ll see. I don’t read anything into it until I see what their actions are.”
The Times pointed out that Tuesday’s news came despite a series of recent statements from Biden which many observers feel have heightened tensions with Russia.
Fox News reported that this included a speech in Poland on Saturday in which the president appeared to suggest the United States would remove Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, saying, “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.” The White House later clarified that it has no regime-change plans for Russia.