Ukraine-Russia talks underway in Belarus

Ukrainian presidential advisor Mykhaylo Podolyak has tweeted that he and other officials have started talks with Russian representatives in Belarus.

He has outlined the key issues on the agenda — immediate ceasefire, armistice and humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians from destroyed or constantly shelled villages and cities.

“The talks will take place,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier in a video conference, CNN reported.

Lavrov claimed — without evidence — that the Ukrainian side had deliberately delayed their arrival, and suggested that Ukraine is a puppet state of the United States.

Also on Thursday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said a Russian delegation was in Belarus waiting for their Ukrainian counterparts.

“Our delegation was in place last night. It was expecting Ukrainian negotiators last night, all night, then in the morning. They are still waiting,” he said.

“But as you know, the talks have not started. Ukrainian negotiators are clearly in no hurry. Let’s hope they arrive today,” added Peskov, CNN reported.

Delegations from both countries were due to meet on Wednesday for a second round of talks.

The first round of talks on Monday lasted for five hours and ended without a breakthrough.

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