Ukraine-Russia talks, what we know so far
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed in a phone call on Sunday that Istanbul would host talks between Ukraine and Russia this week.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that talks could start as early as Tuesday, as negotiators are expected to arrive in Turkey on Monday.
Peskov declined to elaborate on the specifics of the negotiations.
“Although we cannot and do not want to talk about progress at the talks, the fact that they continue to take place in person is of course important,” Peskov said.
“We adhere to a policy of not disclosing any information about the talks, which we believe could only harm the negotiation process.”
He acknowledged that no “substantial achievement or breakthrough” had been made in previous rounds of peace talks.
Zelensky, in a video address on Sunday evening, said he would continue to prioritize Ukraine’s “territorial integrity” in talks this week.
“We are looking for peace, really, without delay,” he said. “There is an opportunity and a need for a face-to-face meeting in Turkey. It’s not bad. Let’s see the result. Our priorities in the negotiations are known.”
“The sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine are beyond doubt. Effective security guarantees are indispensable. Obviously, our goal is peace and the return to normal life in our country as soon as possible.”
Earlier on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov played down the prospects of a meeting between Presidents Volodymyr Zelensky and Vladimir Putin, saying such talks would be “counterproductive”.