Talks between Russia and Ukraine in Belarus

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Talks between Russia and Ukraine in Belarus

Delegations from Russia and Ukraine held early talks in southeastern Belarus on Monday, amid limited hopes of success, ending fighting after Russian forces invaded Ukraine last week.

The talks ended after several hours and their outcome could not be determined immediately. The delegates returned to their respective capitals for consultation. The talks coincided with reports of renewed bombings in Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv and explosions in the capital Kyiv.

Ukraine initially refused to participate in the talks in Belarus because Russian forces stationed there participated in the offensive. But then the Ukrainian authorities agreed to send a delegation to the meeting in Gomel, a city near the borders of Russia and Ukraine. “You can feel absolutely safe,” Belarus Foreign Minister Vladimir Meki told delegates at the start of the meeting. “Any request or proposal you may have regarding today’s meeting will be taken into consideration and processed.”

Videos from Belarus’ official news agency showed a handful of representatives from each side sitting on opposite sides of a long table. Flags of Russia and Ukraine, other than Belarus, stood at the top of the table, while smaller flags on the table denoted each side.

In a photo released by Belarus, representatives of Ukraine arrive in a military helicopter for talks. The Ukrainian delegation included the Minister of Defense and the Deputy Foreign Minister, while the Russian delegation was led by Vladimir R. Putin’s adviser to President Vladimir V. Putin. Medinsky was doing.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said before the meeting that he expected little from the talks. He refused to agree to any terms or concessions before the discussion.

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