Start of Russia-Ukraine talks – RT Russia and former USSR

Negotiations come after Kyiv initially refused to meet on Belarusian territory

Talks have started in Belarus between high-level delegations from Russia and Ukraine, aimed at ending hostilities between the two countries. Moscow launched a full-scale military attack last week and its troops are positioned on the outskirts of the capital, Kiev.

On Monday, footage purported to show two Ukrainian helicopters arriving in the Gomel region near the border.

The office of the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, said the Kyiv delegation included Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov, leader of the ruling Servants of the People faction, David Arakhamia, and Deputy Foreign Minister Nikolay Tochitskiy, as well as others.

According to the statement, Kiev’s main objective in the talks with Moscow is an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian troops from the country.

Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said Moscow did not announce its position ahead of talks with Kyiv representatives because the talks “should continue in silence.”

He also regretted that the high-stakes negotiations had not started a day earlier, insisting there was an opportunity.

The Ukrainian side on Sunday agreed to talks with its Russian colleagues after initially refusing to send a team of representatives due to disagreements over the venue and preliminary terms. Kiev argued that it was inappropriate to hold crisis talks in Belarus, saying Moscow’s armed forces were using the territory to carry out attacks. Minsk, however, has insisted its troops are not facilitating the military operation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an attack on Ukraine last week following demands from the leaders of the newly recognized Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk to tackle what they said was a sharp rise in “The Ukrainian Aggression”. Putin argued that the purpose of the operation was to “demilitarize” and “de-Nazify” the country.

Shortly after the televised address, a series of explosions hit sites across the Eastern European nation, including military instillations and airfields. Kiev’s top diplomat, Dmitry Kuleba, said that “Putin has just launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine”, adding that “Peaceful Ukrainian cities are on strike. It is a war of aggression.

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