Kyiv: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday said he is open to talks with Russia in countries that are not showing aggression towards Ukraine.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that a Russian delegation has reached Belarus to hold talks with Ukrainians.
He said, “In accordance with the agreements we made, a Russian delegation, which includes representatives of the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry, and other government agencies, including the presidential administration, has arrived in Belarus for talks with the Ukrainians. We’ll be ready to start these talks in Gomel.”
In response, the Ukrainian President said, “At the moment, we’re saying no to Minsk. Other cities can be a place to meet. Of course, we want peace, we want to meet, we want for the war to end.
“Warsaw, Bratislava, Budapest, Istanbul, Baku — we have suggested all that to Russia. And any other city will do. In a country, from whose territory the rockets are not flying. This is the only way that the talks can be honest and can really put an end to the war.”
Slamming Russia for claiming to be “ready for talks”, Zelenskyy’s advisor Mikhail Podolyak said the Russian delegation arrived to Gomel knowing it was pointless, The Guardian reported. Earlier, the Ukrainian army said it had shot down a “winged rocket” fired at Kyiv from a Belarusian Tu-22 aircraft.
“The Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine a few minutes ago shot down a winged rocket launched in the capital of Ukraine from the territory of the Republic of Belarus by a TU-22 plane,” said Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces.
“This is another war crime of the Russian Federation and Russia,” he added. Meanwhile, the Russian forces’ advance in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, was met with fierce resistance.