ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy On Sunday he said Ukraine and Russia would hold the first diplomatic talks since the Kremlin-launched invasion, with delegations from both countries meeting at Ukraine’s border with Belarus.
The two countries would meet near the Pripyat river “without preconditions”, Al Jazeera quoted Zelenskyy’s office as saying.
The announcement came after Zelenskyy earlier said he would not attend negotiations in Belarus, a close ally of Moscow, where thousands of Russian troops were massed in the run-up to last week’s invasion.
He later said: “We agreed that the Ukrainian delegation would meet the Russian delegation without preconditions at the border between Ukraine and Belarus, near the Pripyat River.”
However, Zelenskyy did not give a precise time for the meeting, but noted that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Putin’s right-hand man, “has taken responsibility for ensuring that all planes, helicopters and missiles stationed on Belarusian territory” .
Russia launched a military attack on Ukraine on Thursday.
Now, Kiev’s outgunned forces are fighting to hold the capital city and many other parts of the country.
Hostilities continued to rage on Sunday with street clashes in Ukrainian cities and an announcement by Russian President Vladimir Putin that he had put his nuclear deterrent forces on high alert.
Putin attributed the move to “aggressive statements” by the West against Russia.
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Washington called the order an example of “manufacturing threats that don’t exist.”
PREMIUM TIMES reported on Sunday how Russian forces entered Kharkiv, sparking a battle for control in Ukraine’s second-largest city.
By afternoon, the city was reportedly quieter, with the sounds of shelling fading from the center and Kharkiv’s governor announcing that the city remained under government control.
In the fourth day of fighting, the United Nations refugee agency said 368,000 people have fled Ukraine while some 3 million need humanitarian aid.