Top Russia and Ukraine Diplomats Held Talks In Turkey
Turkey–Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba held talks in Turkey on Thursday. This was the first such high-level contact between Ukraine and Russia after Moscow invaded Ukraine. The ministers began talks on the sidelines of a diplomatic forum in the southern Turkish resort of Antalya. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also joined the talks. Turkey reportedly played a mediation role in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
The official talks between the leaders began sitting on each side of an ‘n’ shaped table, with each minister accompanied by just two other officials. Ukrainian FM Kuleba said that he discussed a 24-hour ceasefire with his Russian counterpart but no progress was made. Reportedly, Kuleba said that the meeting was difficult for him. The meeting between both leaders lasted just 1.5 hours. Ukrainian FM Kuleba also said in a video on Wednesday that his expectations were “limited” for the talks.
Meeting between both leaders
The meeting took place against the background of Ukrainian and international outrage after an attack on a children’s hospital in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol. According to Kyiv, the attack killed at least three people, including a young child. Subsequently, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia once again of war crimes on Wednesday.
Reportedly, Ukraine has opened seven humanitarian corridors through which civilians can be evacuated to safety. The discussion between both leaders failed to achieve a ceasefire or agreement over the safe passage for civilians fleeing the city of Mariupol. Reportedly, Russia demanded that Ukraine acknowledge Crimea, which it annexed in 2014.
According to UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), dozens of children have been killed because of Moscow’s offensive. World leaders accused Russian authorities of endangering the safety of an entire continent. Last week, a fire broke out at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant after it was shelled by Russian troops.