Ukraine wants to see eight countries, including Turkiye, as guarantors in a possible deal with Russia, said a Ukrainian negotiator after peace talks in Istanbul on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters, David Arakhamia said they are seeking an international agreement where the countries would serve as guarantors of Ukraine's security.
Mykhailo Podolyak, another top Ukrainian negotiator and adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in a tweet said Ukraine proposed a security guarantees treaty "with an enhanced analogue of Article 5 of NATO."
The proposal would involve the US, UK, Turkiye, France, Germany as guarantor states to "legally actively" protect Ukraine "from any aggression," added Podolyak.
He said it would be implemented "through a referendum & parliaments of the guarantor states."
"As for Crimea, it is offered to clearly record the parties' intention to settle the issue exclusively through (Russia-Ukraine) bilateral negotiations within 15 years," he added. "It's also offered not to resolve the Crimean issue by military means in any case. Only political & diplomatic efforts."
Russia sent troops into Ukraine in what it called a “special military operation” on Feb. 24 to "denazify and demilitarize" the neighboring country.
The West reacted with fury and slapped Moscow with unprecedented sanctions over Russia's war against Ukraine, which has led to an exodus of millions of people seeking safety in other European countries.
Hundreds of global companies have also suspended operations in Russia.
Russia pledges to reduce military activity in direction of Kyiv, Chernihiv
Russia will significantly decrease its military activities in the direction of the Ukrainian cities of Kyiv and Chernihiv to increase trust for future negotiations, the country's deputy defense minister announced in a separate press briefing.
"The Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation, for purposes of trust-building and creating conditions for holding talks further, and achieving the final goal of agreeing and signing a peace treaty, made a decision to radically decrease the military activities in the directions of Kyiv and Chernihiv," Aleksandr Fomin said.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Medinsky, the head of the Russian delegation, said a meeting between the presidents of Russia and Ukraine could be held when a draft of a possible peace treaty is ready and approved.
"This meeting is possible, it is possible when a treaty is ready for signing, worked out by the negotiators and the foreign ministers," he said, adding: "If the work on the treaty is quick, and a compromise is found, a possibility to make peace will become much closer."
According to Medinsky, the meeting in Istanbul was "constructive" and the Ukrainian side presented its "comprehensive position" to include in the peace treaty.
Before the talks, Arakhamia and Medinsky also held a one-on-one meeting.
Turkiye has won widespread praise for its efforts to end the war, helped by its unique position in having friendly relations with both Russia and Ukraine.
On March 10, it hosted the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers in the southern resort city of Antalya, the highest-level meeting of the two sides since the war began.
Ahead of the talks in Istanbul, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met the Russian and Ukrainian delegations and reiterated his call for a cease-fire. “We believe that a just peace will have no losers, and a prolonged conflict is not in anyone’s interest,” he said.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Tuesday's meeting achieved "the most meaningful progress since the start of negotiations."
Speaking at a press conference after the latest round of talks wrapped up, Cavusoglu said he was pleased to see increasing "rapprochement" between the two sides.
On the peace talks organized in the Turkish metropolis, he said: "It is an indication of the trust of the parties in Turkiye."
He added that "the top priority is to achieve a cease-fire as soon as possible and pave the way for a permanent political solution."