Russia has decided to drastically cut its military activity around Kyiv and Chernihiv in Ukraine, one of its deputy defence ministers said on Tuesday, after talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiating teams in Istanbul.
"In order to increase mutual trust and create the necessary conditions for further negotiations and achieving the ultimate goal of agreeing and signing (an) agreement, a decision was made to radically, by a large margin, reduce military activity in the Kyiv and Chernihiv directions," Alexander Fomin, the deputy minister, told reporters.
Russia's General Staff will reveal in more detail the decisions that have been taken after the delegation has returned to Moscow, Fomin said.
Ukrainian negotiators said they had proposed at the latest round of talks with Russia that Ukraine adopt neutral status in exchange for security guarantees, meaning Kyiv would not join military alliances or host military bases.
Russia's chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky said Russia would look at the proposals and report on them to President Vladimir Putin.