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Russia, Ukraine begin negotiations

Published : 28 Feb 2022 09:15 PM | Updated : 28 Feb 2022 09:26 PM

The Ukrainian delegation sat in talks with Russia at the Belarusian border, the presidential office said, noting that ceasefire and withdrawal of troops from Ukraine would be the key issues of the meeting.

"The Kiev delegation arrived at the Ukrainian-Belarusian border to hold talks with Russia," the president’s office stated on its Telegram channel.

"The key issue of the talks is an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of troops from Ukraine," the statement reads.

The Kiev delegation includes Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov, Advisor to the Ukrainian Presidential Office Mikhail Podolyak, the head of the Servant of the People ruling party’s faction David Arakhamia, first deputy chief of the Ukrainian delegation to the Contact Group Andrey Kostin, people’s deputy Rustem Umerov and Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Nikolay Tochitsky.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories.

When clarifying the developments unfolding, the Russian Defense Ministry reassured that Russian troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, but are limited to surgically striking and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure. There are no threats whatsoever to the civilian population.