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New round of Russia-Ukraine talks begins in Istanbul

Russia Ukraine WarNew round of Russia-Ukraine talks begins in Istanbul

Istanbul (Times Of Ocean)- Turkey brokered fresh round of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine in Istanbul on Tuesday.

The two-day peace talks is taking place at the presidential Dolmabahce office.

The first session for the day began at 10.30 a.m. local time (0730GMT).

The representatives of Russia and Ukraine arrived in Istanbul Monday.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, reiterated his call for a cease-fire between Russia and Ukraine ahead of the talks. The war has now entered its second month.

“We believe that a just peace will have no losers, and a prolonged conflict is not in anyone’s interest,” Erdogan told Russian and Ukrainian negotiators.

Turkish President Erdogan said earlier that phone talks with his counterparts in Ukraine and Russia were going well.

David Arakhamia and Vladimir Medinsky, the heads of the Ukrainian and Russian delegations, met one-on-one before the talks.

“Delegations are working simultaneously on all contentious issues,” Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the Ukrainian president and Kiev’s lead negotiator in the peace talks with Russia, wrote on Twitter, sharing a photo from the meeting.

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich is also attending. Earlier this month, Abramovich held talks in Moscow and Lviv in an attempt to mediate between the two nations.

As reported by the US media, the Russian oligarch was kept off Washington’s sanctions list due to his role as a mediator.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Abramovich and Ukrainian peace negotiators suffered suspected poisonings, but the Ukrainian side denied the allegations, saying they were working normally.

Russia and Ukraine have held several rounds of talks in Belarus so far, including a video conference on March 14, without achieving concrete results.

On March 10, Turkey made world headlines for hosting the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers in Antalya, the highest-level meeting between the two sides since the war began on Feb 24.

Despite failing to agree on a cease-fire, the sides agreed to continue negotiations.

There has been international outrage over Russia’s war on Ukraine, with the EU, US and UK, among others, imposing tough financial sanctions on Moscow.

According to UN estimates, 1,151 civilians have been killed and 1,824 injured in Ukraine, which warned that the real figure is likely to be much higher.

The UN refugee agency estimates that more than 3.87 million Ukrainians have fled to several European countries, with millions more internally displaced.

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