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Meeting between ministers of Ukraine and Russia ends without agreement

The meeting between the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Russia, held today in Turkey, ended with no progress. The meeting dealt with the Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory, which today reaches its 15th day with records of new bombings, as in the port city of Mariupol, which was attacked during the meeting between the authorities, according to the Ukrainians. Russian ministers Sergei Lavrov and Ukrainian minister Dmytro Kuleba had a meeting lasting about an hour and a half, which was aimed at reaching a ceasefire, according to Turkish diplomacy, which organized the meeting. According to Kuleba, there was no progress on this point.

“We mentioned a ceasefire, but there was no progress in that direction,” Kuleba told the press after the meeting, adding that it was decided, with Lavrov, “to continue their negotiations in this format.” The Ukrainian minister reported that a corridor in Mariupol and a ceasefire for at least 24 hours had been proposed to resolve the humanitarian problems of civilians. The Russian side did not agree, according to the Ukrainian. Kuleba said he was ready to continue negotiations. According to him, Russia reaffirmed today that a ceasefire is possible if Ukraine complies with the conditions presented by Russian President Vladimir Putin – who today came under pressure from France and Germany for the ceasefire.

Lavrov, for his part, said that the meeting served to confirm that Russia “has no alternatives” and also stressed that meetings such as this Thursday’s “cannot be used to replace the main negotiations” in Belarus, where three rounds of conversations with little progress. “We did not attack Ukraine. A situation was created that was a threat to Moscow, we made several appeals, but nobody listened to us”, declared the Russian. According to Lavrov, the so-called “special operation,” as the Russians call the invasion, is following through on plans, and Russia’s goal is for Ukraine to be “neutral.”

The Russian minister also did not rule out the possibility of a meeting between Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky but said that “preparatory work” needs to be done first. “Ukraine has said it will give us concrete answers. Let’s wait,” he declared. After meeting with Kuleba, Lavrov had bilateral meetings with representatives of the UN (United Nations) and Venezuela.

First meeting

The ministers meet in Antalya, in southwestern Turkey. This was the first high-level meeting of the governments of both countries involved in the conflict that began on February 24, from the Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory.

Before the start of the meeting, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu spoke separately with the two foreign ministers, who arrived in Antalya today and stayed in different hotels.

He first received Kuleba, who greeted him with a hug, and then Lavrov.

Turkey is a member of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and has offered to mediate in the conflict. NATO is an intercontinental military alliance led by the United States and made up of 30 other countries, most of them European. The possibility of Ukraine joining the group is put by Russia as one of the reasons for the invasion. For the Russian ministry, the long-term expansion of NATO in Eastern Europe, close to Russia’s borders, and the expansion of weapons in the region “caused an unprecedented increase in military tension, to which we were forced to respond”.

Source: with agencies

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