Kremlin says a delegation of navy officers and diplomats arrived in Gomel for talks with Ukraine; Kyiv says it needs ‘solely actual negotiations’.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Ukraine is prepared for peace talks with Russia however not in neighbouring Belarus, an ally of Moscow which used it as a staging floor for its multipronged invasion.
Talking in Russian in a video message on Sunday, Zelenskyy left the door open for negotiations elsewhere and listed the cities of Warsaw, Bratislava, Istanbul, Budapest or Baku as various venues.
He mentioned different areas have been additionally doable however burdened Ukraine doesn’t settle for Russia’s collection of Belarus.
Earlier, the Kremlin mentioned a Russian delegation had arrived within the Belarusian metropolis of Gomel for talks and was ready for the Ukrainian officers.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned the delegation contains representatives from the international ministry, defence ministry and presidential administration.
“We’re prepared to start out these negotiations in Gomel,” Peskov mentioned, in line with the TASS information company.
However Zelenskyy’s adviser Mykhailo Podolyak mentioned Ukraine needs solely “actual” negotiations, calling Russia’s determination to ship the delegation to Belarus for talks “propaganda”.
“They arrived in Gomel figuring out that it was pointless. And now they are saying – ‘we’re ready’,” he instructed Reuters information company.
“Zelenskyy’s place stays unchanged: solely actual negotiations, no ultimatums.”
Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday, with troops shifting from Belarus within the north, in addition to from the east and the south.