Russia And Ukraine Begin Negotiations

Russia And Ukraine Begin Negotiations

Officials from Ukraine started negotiations with Russian counterparts to try and halt the Russians’ punishing invasion of their country on Monday, CNN and The New York Times reported.

The talks began just after 1 p.m. Ukraine time, CNN reported. Several high-ranking Ukrainian officials, but not President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, are attending the talks held at a confidential location in Belarus.

Zelenskyy’s office said Ukraine would demand an immediate cease-fire, but the president expressed little hope that the talks would bring an end to the fighting.

Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei greeted the delegations.

“President Lukashenko sincerely hopes that, during today’s talks, it will be possible to find solutions to all the questions of this crisis. All Belarusians are praying for this,” Makei said.

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a broad offensive against Ukrainian borders and cities on Thursday, at least 352 Ukrainians have died, according to the government in Kyiv, and tens of thousands have fled the country. On Friday night local time, a spokesperson for Zelenskyy said the Russian and Ukrainian sides were “holding consultations” on diplomacy to achieve a cease-fire.

The Russians spent much of the weekend pummeling Kyiv and advancing toward the city, which is home to more than 2 million people.

The U.S. and allied governments have supported Ukraine with aid and military equipment and are blaming Putin for the violence ― but have been clear they do not intend to fight Russia on Ukrainian soil. On Friday, the Biden administration, Britain and the European Union imposed sanctions on Putin in the latest step in their effort to pressure him to end the assault.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Liza Hearon contributed to this story.

Delegations of Ukraine and Russia arrive to attend peace talks between two countries at the Gomel region, which borders both sides to the conflict in Belarus on Feb. 28, 2022. P

Foreign Ministry of Belarus / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


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