Ukraine offers neutrality in talks with Russia. What does that mean?

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gives a broadcast speech in Kyiv on March 21. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

An important aspect of the ongoing negotiations between Russia and Ukraine is that the latter adopt a “neutral state” status in exchange for a potential halt in Russian aggression.

In the latest round of negotiations Tuesday in Turkey, Ukrainian representatives presented a number of proposals to their Russian counterparts, among them that Ukraine becomes a neutral state along with the promise to not host foreign military forces or bases in Ukrainian territory. In exchange, countries such as France, Turkey and Israel would “guarantee” the country’s security.

Russian negotiators said they would look into these proposals while Russia will “drastically reduce” military activity near the cities of Chernihiv and Kyiv “to increase mutual trust and create the necessary conditions for further negotiations.”

Here’s what you need to know about Ukraine’s proposed “neutral status.”