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The second round of negotiations between Russia and Ukraine on the Russian invasion has started on Thursday in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, in the Belarusian region of Brest, near the Polish border, the Belarusian agency BELTA reported.
The agency publishes a photo with the delegations shaking hands and in the background the flags of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.
Myjailo Podoliak, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office, explained that his delegation began negotiating with Russian representatives.
“We started talking with Russian representatives. The key issues on the agenda: 1. Immediate ceasefire; 2. Truce; 3. Humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians from destroyed or constantly shelled villages/cities,” Podoliak wrote on Twitter.
The negotiations have started three hours behind the schedule planned by the Russian side.
The new negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, on the eighth day of the war, were due to start at around 12.00 GMT, the head of the Russian delegation, Vladimir Medinsky, had reported, referring to “the complexity of the logistics of the Ukrainian side, which meets in Poland and then comes all the way here to the Brest region in Belarus.”
As it happened at the first round of negotiations, last February 28, the Ukrainian representatives came to the meeting in olive green casual clothes and the Russian delegation again in formal suits.
“We are ready for negotiations, we are open for diplomacy, but we are by no means ready to accept Russian ultimatums,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba said yesterday.
Medinsky said Wednesday that at the first meeting of the delegations, which was held on February 28, “some Russian proposals” related to an “immediate cease-fire” were discussed.
He added that on some of them, “in general, there was an understanding at the negotiating table”, but on others, “as expected, the Ukrainian side took time for reflections and consultations in Kyiv.”