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Russia-Ukraine talks to resume on Monday, negotiator says

Russia-Ukraine talks to resume on Monday, negotiator says

Debris are scattered around the hole in a road at the site where several houses have been damaged by an explosion, following an air strike in Bila Tserkva, Kyiv Oblast, Ukraine Mar 5, 2022 in this picture obtained from social media. (Photo: Kyiv Oblast Police/Handout via REUTERS)

Russia and Ukraine will hold a third round of talks on Monday (Mar 7) about ending hostilities, Ukrainian negotiator David Arakhamia said in a Facebook post on Saturday, without providing further details.

Delegations from Ukraine and Russia have had two rounds of talks since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of its neighbour on Feb 24.

On Thursday, the sides agreed to open humanitarian corridors to allow civilians out of some combat zones, although there have been delays in implementing them.

Ukraine said on Saturday the talks had not produced results but that it would keep pursuing negotiations.

"The third round of talks will take place on Monday," Arakhamia, who is also the parliamentary faction leader of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's party, wrote.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday that Zelenskiy's attempt to secure direct NATO help in the conflict between their countries was not helping talks between the two sides, but that Moscow was ready for a third round.

Wary of being dragged into Moscow's war on its neighbour, NATO on Friday turned down Zelenskiy's appeal to create a no-fly zone over Ukraine, prompting the Ukrainian president to say that the alliance had given Russia the green light to continue its bombing campaign.

Earlier on Saturday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he was open to talks with Lavrov, but only if they were "meaningful".

The Kremlin said on Friday that progress in the negotiations would depend on Kyiv's reaction to Moscow's position on how to end the war, which had been conveyed to Ukraine on Thursday.

The Russian TASS news agency quoted Russian negotiator Leonid Slutsky as saying the Ukrainian side had shown some openness in the second round to reaching an agreement.

Source: Reuters
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