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Erdogan: Istanbul Talks Can Pave Way for Ukraine-Russia Leaders’ Meeting

Erdogan: Istanbul Talks Can Pave Way for Ukraine-Russia Leaders’ Meeting

Tuesday, 29 March, 2022 - 07:00
Members of the Ukrainian Volunteer Corps prepare howitzer, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, at a position in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine March 28, 2022. Picture taken March 28, 2022. REUTERS/Stanislav Yurchenko

Progress in talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators starting in Istanbul on Tuesday would pave the way for a meeting of the countries' two leaders, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told the delegations ahead of the talks.

In a televised speech to the negotiators in Istanbul, Erdogan said the time has come for talks to yield concrete results and called for an immediate ceasefire, saying that "stopping this tragedy" was up to both sides, Reuters reported.

Earlier, Kremlin said it was important for peace talks between Russia and Ukraine in Turkey to take place face-to-face, after what it described as a lack of major progress in negotiations so far.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan agreed in a telephone call on Sunday for Istanbul to host the talks.

"While we cannot and will not speak about progress at the talks, the fact that they continuing to take place in person is important, of course," Peskov told reporters on a conference call.

"We are adhering to a policy of not disclosing any information about the talks, which we think could only hurt the negotiation process."

Peskov added that no major progress had been made in the talks themselves, or on the idea of a potential meeting between Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

"Unfortunately we cannot see any substantial achievements or breakthroughs (in the talks) so far," he said.

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