Karen DeYoung reported for the Washington Post Thursday that Russia sent a formal diplomatic note to the United States on Tuesday, accusing Washington and its NATO clients of insidiously subverting peace process with Ukraine initiated at the Istanbul talks on March 29, and the subsequent withdrawal of Russian forces from the outskirts of Kyiv, Chernihiv and Sumy, thus ending the month-long offensive in Ukraine. The document, titled “On Russia’s concerns in the context of massive supplies of weapons and military equipment to the Kiev regime,” was forwarded to the State Department by the Russian Embassy in Washington, in which Russia accused NATO of trying to “pressure Ukraine to abandon peace negotiations with Russia in order to continue the bloodshed.”
On his first foreign visit to Belarus on Tuesday since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin explained during a joint press conference with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko that the time frame of the military offensive in Ukraine was determined by the intensity of hostilities and Russia would act according to its plan. “I often get these questions, can’t we hurry it up?’ We can. But it depends on the intensity of hostilities and, any way you put it, the intensity of hostilities is directly related to casualties,” said the Russian president. “Our task is to achieve the set goals while minimizing these losses. We will act rhythmically, calmly, and according to the plan that was initially proposed by the General Staff.”
On Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia welcomed Ukraine’s written proposals on a potential peace deal but cautioned that there is still a long way to go to end the fighting. Peskov said that he hasn’t seen anything too promising and that there are no signs of a breakthrough between the two sides. Ukraine put forward its proposal during talks in Turkey on Tuesday. The Ukrainian proposal includes a pledge not to join NATO, but Kyiv wants security guarantees similar to NATO’s Article 5, which outlines the alliance’s mutual defense agreement. Ukraine wants these guarantees from several NATO countries, including the US, which is likely a non-starter for Russia.
By now it is obvious that the mainstream media does not cover any good news whatsoever about Venezuela. Even non-political issues are always accompanied by a poisoned cliché sentence or two about “dictator”, “authoritarian regime”, “collapsed economy” “humanitarian crisis”, etc. etc. So, the game-changing news that there are peace talks being held in México City between the Venezuelan government and opposition parties is ignored. México is acting as host and facilitator with the kingdoms of Norway and Netherlands, and the Russian Federation as mediators. This seminal event has been scarcely reported by the North American media or commented on by politicians. Not a peep. Perhaps it is because neither the USA nor Canada have been permitted to be part of these negotiations, although certainly the USA has tried, and failed, to worm itself in.
There are high hopes surrounding the upcoming round of negotiations between the Venezuelan government and the extreme right-wing of the opposition. The sides are set to meet on September 3 in Mexico after having signed a memorandum of understanding in August. That document established a 7-point agenda with a broad scope that encompasses elections, political rights and the economy, among others. It calls for lifting the sanctions and ending violent coup attempts. These talks have the potential to end years of political and economic instability caused in large part by U.S. intervention. Despite the intense pressure imposed by the Trump administration, the Maduro government enters the talks in its strongest position in years. The governing PSUV party swept legislative elections in 2020.