According to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet for discussions at a location near the Belarusian border with Ukraine.
The discussions, the first since Russia launched a full-fledged invasion of Ukraine last week, will take place without preconditions and are the result of a phone contact between Zelenskyy and Belarus’s president, according to the Ukrainian leader.
“We agreed that the Ukrainian delegation would meet with the Russian delegation without preconditions near the Pripyat River on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border,” he said in a statement.
“There seems to be some confusion about where these talks will take place.” Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stated that despite agreeing to negotiations with Russia, Ukraine will “not give up a single inch of… land.”
“We go there [to the discussions] to hear what Russia has to say; we go without any… prior agreement on what the conclusion of these negotiations may be.” “We’re going to listen and tell what we believe about this conflict and Russia’s activities,” Kuleba said in a televised speech.
“Between now until the conclusion of the discussions, [Belarusian President Alexander] Lukashenko has informed President Zelenskyy that no Belarusian military force would be employed against Ukraine,” he continued.
Russia / Ukraine Poll
“We can only hope that Lukashenko keeps his word. And, between now and the conclusion of these discussions, we will continue to vigorously defend our nation, defeating Russian forces if they attempt to resume offensive operations.
Zelenskyy earlier rejected Belarus, a Moscow ally that exploited it as a staging ground for its multipronged assault, as a suitable place for negotiations. In a video message sent out on Sunday, Zelenskyy mentioned Warsaw, Bratislava, Istanbul, Budapest, and Baku as possible alternate locations.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian soldiers fought Russian troops marching towards Kharkiv on Sunday, the fourth day of the invasion that has rocked Europe’s long-standing security architecture and prompted Germany to beef up its defenses.
The three-pronged invasion of Ukraine, commanded by Russian President Vladimir Putin, is the worst assault on a European state since World War II. The campaign, which Russia refers to as a special operation, has so far failed to destabilize Kyiv’s administration or capture key cities, but it has forced hundreds of thousands of migrants, primarily women and children, into neighboring nations.
Witnesses reported hearing shooting and explosions as Russian soldiers and armored vehicles invaded the northeastern city of Kharkiv. A smoking tank might be seen on a government video. According to police in the city, Ukraine’s second-largest with a population of approximately 1.4 million, fighters resisted the onslaught.