Mar 28, 2022 11:53 UTC
  • Russia, Ukraine to resume peace talks in Turkey as fighting rages on

Russian and Ukrainian negotiators are set to resume tension-easing negotiations in Istanbul on Monday, Reuters cited a senior Turkish official as saying, as the conflict between the neighbors rages on.

According to Press TV, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed in a telephone call on Sunday for Istanbul to host a fresh round of talks.

Erdogan said his country would continue efforts to end the conflict in Ukraine, and stressed the need for an immediate ceasefire and the improvement of the humanitarian situation in the region, according to a statement by his office.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the move, saying they must bring peace “without delay”, and signaling his government’s preparedness to compromise on key issues.

In a speech late on Sunday, Zelensky said he wanted peace as soon as possible but pointed to his negotiating red lines.

“Our priorities in the negotiations are known. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are beyond doubt. Effective security guarantees for our state are mandatory,” he asserted.

“Our goal is obvious,” he added, “peace and the restoration of the normal life of our native state as soon as possible.”

In remarks made to Russian journalists earlier in the day, Zelenskyy had adopted a milder tone, saying Kiev was willing to assume neutral status and compromise over the status of the eastern Donbas region as part of a potential peace deal.

The previous rounds of talks have failed to produce a breakthrough, as both the warring sides have refused to compromise on their respective redlines.

Zelensky’s office on Monday said Turkey was among countries that could offer Kiev security guarantees as part of any deal with Russia to end the war in Ukraine. 

"Turkey is among those countries that could become guarantors of our security in the future," Ihor Zhovkva, Deputy Head of President Volodymyr Zelensky's office, said ahead of the peace talks.