Ukrainian and Russian Foreign Ministers Meet in Turkey with No “Progress on Ceasefire”

Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Thursday said there had been no progress on a ceasefire during the talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov in Turkey.

This is the first high-level meeting between the two warring parties with the mediation of the Turkish government to help reduce conflict between Russian and Ukraine.

On 24 February, Russia invaded its ex-Soviet neighbor, Ukraine in which thousands of people were killed and wounded so far, plus millions of others were displaced and taken refugees to the neighboring countries.

In a press briefing, Kuleba said he concluded meeting with Russian and Turkish counterparts, describing the talks “difficult” and accused Lavrov of bringing “traditional narrative” to the table. Kuleba expressed willingness to meet again in this format, and said “ready to continue engagement to stop the war.” 

“We cannot stop the war if the country that started the aggression has no desire to do so,” Kuleba added.

On his part, Lavrov said that the two sides talked about the humanitarian situation and other key issues.  “We spoke about humanitarian questions. We also reminded Ukraine that Russia had presented its proposals. Moscow wants a reply,” Lavrov said, adding the military operation in Ukraine is going as per the plan. Lavrov also said that “West is behaving dangerously” at the moment.

Lavrov and Kuleba met on the sidelines of a diplomacy forum in Antalya with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also participating.

Cavusoglu termed the aim of the meeting is to pave the way for a meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents, which would be facilitated by Turkey’s president.

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