Moscow/Kiev: A new round of talks between Russia and Ukraine is expected to take place Thursday in Belovezhskaya Pushcha on the Belarus-Poland border, as Moscow’s military assault continued on Kiev for the eighth day.
Russian presidential aide Vladimir Medinsky said the delegation headed by him arrived at the negotiating site Wednesday evening, reports Xinhua news agency.
The Ukrainian side is expected to arrive Thursday, Medinsky said, adding that Moscow and Kiev agreed upon the location for the new round of talks.
Russia’s military has established a safe corridor to allow the Ukrainian delegation to move through Ukrainian territory, he said.
The possibility of a ceasefire, among other things, would be discussed during the talks, according to the official.
However, David Arakhamia, parliamentary faction leader of the Party of Servant of the People in Ukraine, said on Facebook that “information that the talks will be held in Belovezhskaya Pushcha is not true. Indeed, the talks will take place, but in another venue. All details will be provided later”, the Interfax news agency reported Thursday.
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The first round of negotiations between Russia and Ukraine concluded Monday with no clear breakthrough.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Facebook that Kiev was ready to negotiate, but would not comply with “Russian ultimatums”.
Kuleba and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed new sanctions against Russia and a new supply of defensive weapons for Ukraine in a phone conversation on Wednesday.
Kuleba emphasized that Ukraine is committed to finding diplomatic ways for settling the conflict with Russia, but Kiev’s allies must show unity in increasing pressure on Russia “until Moscow demonstrates its readiness for constructive negotiations”.
On the same day, Russian President Vladimir Putin held several telephone conversations on the situation in Ukraine with foreign leaders, including Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
The Russian Defence Ministry announced on Wednesday that 498 servicemen have been killed in the course of the “special military operation” in Ukraine, while around 3,700 Ukrainian servicemen have been injured and 2,870 others died.
Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said 1,502 Ukrainian military facilities have been destroyed in the Russian operation.