Russia-Ukraine Foreign Ministers met in Turkey on Thursday for face-to-face discussions, the first high-level interaction between the two countries since Moscow invaded Ukraine.
The Ankara-mediated talks are the first high-level communication between the two sides since Moscow invaded its former Soviet ally.
Ukraine’s foreign minister claimed he and his Russian colleague discussed a 24-hour truce, but no headway was achieved.
Russia’s representative supported the invasion, claiming that everything was progressing according to plan.
Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, claimed he had no assurance from Russia’s Sergey Lavrov to cease fire so that relief could reach civilians, particularly, the key humanitarian priority of rescuing hundreds of thousands of people trapped in Mariupol.
After meeting Lavrov, Kuleba told reporters, “We also talked on the ceasefire but no progress was accomplished on that.”
Kuleba said, implying the Kremlin, “It seems that there are other decision-makers for this matter in Russia.”
The discussion was “difficult,” he said, accusing Lavrov of bringing “traditional narratives” to the table.
Kuleba added, “I want to repeat that Ukraine has not surrendered, does not surrender, and will not surrender.”
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that Russia wants to continue talks with Ukraine and that President Vladimir Putin would not rule out a meeting with his Ukrainian colleague Volodymyr Zelenskyy to discuss “specific” concerns.
If the West had not rejected “our proposal on security guarantees,” Lavrov stated, Russia would not have begun the fight in Ukraine.
He said, “until the end, we wanted to resolve the situation in Ukraine through diplomatic means.”
He stressed that Western countries were behaving irresponsibly over Ukraine, and that Russia’s “special military operation” there was progressing as planned.
Lavrov stated stated that he does not believe the impasse with the West over Ukraine would result in nuclear war.
“I don’t want to believe, and I do not believe, that a nuclear war could start,”
According to Lavrov, Russia has never used its oil and gas as weapons, and its energy exports will always find consumers.
He declared, “We will come out of this crisis with refreshed views of the world – with no illusions about the West. We will try to never again be dependent on the West.”
Representatives from Kyiv and Moscow have met multiple times, but the meeting in Antalya, Turkey, was the very first time Russia sent a minister to discuss the problem.
On Thursday, Lavrov and Kuleba met on the margins of a diplomatic event near Antalya. Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, was also present.
The goal of the meeting, according to Cavusoglu, was to prepare the way for a meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents, which Turkey’s president would assist.
Before the attack can be ended, Moscow says Ukraine must satisfy all of its conditions, including taking a neutral stance and abandoning aspirations to join NATO.
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