Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that some formulations for agreements with Ukraine were close to being agreed, with neutral status for Kyiv under “serious” consideration.
However, he told the RBC news outlet that there were other issues of importance too, including the usage of the Russian language in Ukraine and freedom of speech.
Lavrov also said that peace talks with Ukraine aren’t easy, but added that there was hope for compromise.
“I am guided by the assessments given by our negotiators. They say that the negotiations are not easy for obvious reasons. But nevertheless, there is some hope of reaching a compromise.”
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s armed forces are launching counteroffensives against Russian forces “in several operational areas,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
“This radically changes the parties’ dispositions,” he added, without giving details.
In an update on the war, the general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces referred to the “high intensity of hostilities” but did not say where fighting was heaviest.
Ukrainian officials also made clear that the death toll was rising from the war that began when Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.