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Kyiv to hold talks with Moscow

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Kyiv to hold talks with Moscow

Earlier in the day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had rejected a Russian offer of talks in Belarus saying that Minsk was complicit in the Russian invasion, but leaving the door open to negotiations in other locations. Kiev has said it wanted to negotiate on “neutral ground,” arguing that Russian troops were using Belarusian territory to stage attacks on Ukraine.

Moscow: After some back-and-forth, Ukraine has agreed to dispatch a team to Belarus for talks to end the Russian military campaign in the country, reported Russian State Media on Sunday. “Kyiv “confirmed” the planned talks in the Gomel Region, which is close to the borders of both Russia and Ukraine,” RT news reported quoting Russian chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky.

Ukraine’s presidency confirmed the reports of peace talk and said Kyiv is ready to hold talks with Moscow at its border with Belarus — near the Chernobyl exclusion zone, reported news agency AFP.

The move came after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke to his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko over the phone. Lukashenko has asked Kyiv to sit down and hold talks with Russia so that Ukraine does not lose its statehood, Russia’s RIA news agency reported.

According to the RT report, Medinsky, who is an aide to President Vladimir Putin and former culture minister, said that the parties are now deciding on the logistics and the exact location of the summit, with “maximum security” for the Ukrainians. “We guarantee that the travel route will be 100% safe. We will be waiting for the Ukrainian delegation,” Russian chief negotiator told reporters.

The Russian team has already reached Gomel on Sunday, where it said talks were planned with the Ukrainians.

Earlier in the day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had rejected a Russian offer of talks in Belarus saying that Minsk was complicit in the Russian invasion, but leaving the door open to negotiations in other locations. Kiev has said it wanted to negotiate on “neutral ground,” arguing that Russian troops were using Belarusian territory to stage attacks on Ukraine.
Minsk, however, denied that its forces were participating in the Russian operation.

Moscow attacked its neighbor this week, arguing that it was defending the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, which broke off from the eastern part of Ukraine shortly after the 2014 coup in Kiev. Ukraine said the move was an act of unprovoked aggression.

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