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Ukraine and Russia agree to talks ‘without preconditions’

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet for talks at a venue on the Belarusian border with Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's office said on Sunday. File Photo.

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet for talks at a venue on the Belarusian border with Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's office said on Sunday. File Photo.

Published Feb 27, 2022

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LYIV - Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet for talks at a venue on the Belarusian border with Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's office said on Sunday.

The talks, the first since Russia unleashed a full scale invasion of Ukraine last week, would be held without preconditions and are the result of a phone call between Zelenskiy and the Belarusian president, Zelenskiy said, citing a Reuters report.

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"We agreed that the Ukrainian delegation would meet with the Russian delegation without preconditions on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, near the Pripyat River," he said in a statement.

Russia denied on Sunday that talks with Ukraine had begun but said the two sides were

arriving at the destination for negotiations, Interfax news agency quoted the Foreign Ministry as saying.

The negotiations could possibly offer some room to try to de-escalate the crisis after Russia invaded Ukraine from several directions. Earlier, an adviser to Ukraine's Interior Ministry said the talks had already begun.

Russia dropped its preconditions for talks after suffering military setbacks.

Ukraine's foreign minister said on Sunday, adding that Ukraine would attend the talks to listen to what Russia had to say.

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Dmytro Kuleba also told a briefing that Russian President Vladimir Putin's move to put nuclear forces on high alert was timed to put pressure on Ukraine during the negotiations.

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