Russia, Ukraine Agree to Humanitarian Corridors, Possible Cease-Fire

As negotiations continue between Ukrainian and Russian representatives, the two sides have reportedly agreed that humanitarian corridors should be created to allow for the evacuation of civilians, which could lead to a limited cease-fire as the evacuation takes place, according to Reuters.

The potential cease-fire is one of the first signs of progress in the negotiations between the countries since the onset of Russia's invasion last week.

Vladimir Medinsky, head of the Russian negotiators, reportedly told Russian media following the two-plus hours of talks that the need for humanitarian corridors were agreed to, while Ukrainian officials have said the talks have not been productive enough yet, according to CNN.

"We have thoroughly discussed three points—military, international and humanitarian, and the third one is an issue of a future political regulation of the conflict. Both positions are clear and written down," Medinsky reportedly told Russian media.

"We managed to agree on some of them, but the key thing that we have reached an agreement on today was a matter of rescuing civilians who found themselves in a military clash zone. Russian and Ukrainian defense ministries agreed on providing humanitarian corridors for civilians and on a possible temporary cease-fire in areas where evacuation is happening."

Meanwhile, Mikhailo Podolyak, a Ukrainian negotiator and adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted that the second round of negotiations had ended, but had not yet provided the "results Ukraine needs."

"The second round of negotiations is over. Unfortunately, the results Ukraine needs are not yet achieved. There is a solution only for the organization of humanitarian corridors," Podolyak said.

The negotiations come on the same day that Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly told French President Emmanuel Macron that Russia does not plan to halt their invasion despite international condemnation and calls to do so.

The U.S. House passed a resolution Thursday reiterating American support for Ukraine's national sovereignty and calling for an immediate cease-fire and withdrawal of Russian troops.

"[The House] stands steadfastly, staunchly, proudly, and fervently behind the Ukrainian people in their fight against the authoritarian Putin regime," the resolution stated.

Another resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly in an emergency meeting this week condemned Russia's use of military force in Ukraine, including against civilians, and demanded the withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine. The resolution passed with 141 votes in favor, 35 abstentions and five votes against, including North Korea and Syria.

The U.N. also announced this week that over 1 million refugees have fled Ukraine since the invasion began last week.

Podolyak reportedly told Ukrainian media that the negotiations will continue next week after the two sides also agreed to allow a delivery of food and medicine to areas where particularly severe fighting was taking place, Reuters reported.

For up-to-date information on the conflict in Ukraine go to Newsweek's live blog.

Update 3/3/22 3:50 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with additional information and context.

Russia Ukraine Civilians Evacuation Ceasefire
Russian and Ukrainian negotiators have reportedly agreed on the need for humanitarian corridors to allow for the evacuation of civilians, which could lead to a limited cease-fire. Above, people look at the exterior of a damaged residential block hit by an early morning missile strike on February 25, in Kyiv, Ukraine. Chris McGrath/Getty Images