Ukraine has agreed to hold talks with Russia, President Zelensky’s office says
  • Ukrainian and Russian delegations will meet without preconditions, President Zelensky’s office said.
  • The two will meet near the Pripyat river on the Belarusian border with Ukraine, it said.
  • Neither Russia nor Belarus have issued any statements about potential talks.

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Ukraine and Russia are set to hold negotiations at the Belarusian-Ukrainian border, the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a statement on Sunday, according to the BBC.

During a phone call with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Zelensky agreed that a Ukrainian delegation would meet with President Putin’s representatives without preconditions, his office said.

The meeting is set to take place on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, near the Pripyat River, on Monday morning local time, Ukraine’s Deputy Interior Minister Evgeny Yenin said, per CNN.

“Alexander Lukashenko will ensure all planes, helicopters, and missiles stationed on Belarusian territory remain on the ground during the Ukrainian delegation’s travel, talks, and return,” Zelensky’s statement added. 

Neither Russia nor Belarus have issued any statements confirming the potential talks.

Zelensky had earlier said he would not meet a Russian delegation on Belarusian territory because Russia’s invasion was launched in part from Belarus. He said he suggested several other cities for the talks.

“The Russian delegation is ready for talks, and we are now waiting for the Ukrainians,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said earlier on Sunday, according to The Independent.

The Ukrainian president said he doesn’t expect much from Monday’s meeting but “let them try,” per CNN.

” So that no citizen of Ukraine would have any doubt that I, as president, did not try to stop the war when there was even a small chance,” Zelensky said.

“And while our guys are there, the president is here, the chief of staff is here, the prime minister is here, the army is here, the commander-in-chief is here. We will all defend our state and our borders,” he added

The announcement comes after Putin ordered his military command to put nuclear deterrence forces on “high alert” in response to Western sanctions.

“Western countries aren’t only taking unfriendly actions against our country in the economic sphere, but top officials from leading NATO members made aggressive statements regarding our country,” Putin said in a meeting with his top officials on Sunday.

Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24. It has already cost hundreds of civilian lives and drawn global condemnation. Insider’s live blog of the invasion is covering developments as they happen. 

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