Lavrov, Kuleba in Turkey for first talks
Ukraine’s foreign minister said he discussed a 24-hour ceasefire with his Russian counterpart but no progress was made as Moscow’s representative defended its invasion and said it was going as planned.
The foreign ministers of Russia (Lavrov) and Ukraine (Kuleba) met for face-to-face talks in Turkey on Thursday in the first high-level contact between the two sides since Moscow invaded its ex-Soviet neighbour last month.
Ukraine’s Dmytro Kuleba said he secured no promise from Russia’s Sergey Lavrov to halt firing so aid could reach civilians, including the main humanitarian priority – evacuating hundreds of thousands of people trapped in the besieged port city of Mariupol.
“We also talked on the ceasefire but no progress was accomplished on that,” Kuleba told reporters after meeting Lavrov.
“It seems that there are other decision-makers for this matter in Russia,” Kuleba added in apparent reference to the Kremlin.
He described the meeting as “difficult” and accused Lavrov of bringing “traditional narratives” to the table.
“I want to repeat that Ukraine has not surrendered, does not surrender, and will not surrender,” said Kuleba.
Lavrov, Kuleba in Turkey for first talks: Tried ‘diplomatic means’
Lavrov, meanwhile, said Russia wants to continue negotiations with Ukraine and President Vladimir Putin would not refuse a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy to discuss “specific” issues.
Lavrov said Russia would not have started the conflict in Ukraine if the West had not rejected “our proposal on security guarantees“.
“Until the end, we wanted to resolve the situation in Ukraine through diplomatic means,” he said.
Western nations were behaving dangerously over Ukraine, and Russia’s “special military operation” there was going according to plan, he added.
The Russian foreign minister said he did not believe the standoff with the West over Ukraine would lead to nuclear war.
Top Russia, Ukraine diplomats in Turkey for first talks Al Jazeera English
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