Without a handshake.. the start of the Istanbul negotiations between Russia and Ukraine

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Ukrainian television reported that the talks began “without the members of the two delegations shaking hands”, as there was a “cold welcome”.

Mikhailo Podolyak, political advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said on Twitter that the delegations would discuss “the basic items of the negotiation process. The delegations are working in parallel on discussing a whole range of contentious issues.”

Istanbul is hosting a new round of stalled talks between Russia And Ukraine, on Tuesday, where the situation on the ground was stalemate, with the two sides exchanging control of a town in the east and a suburb of the capital.

Before the start of the negotiations, the Turkish President said, Recep Tayyip Erdogan Progress in Istanbul will pave the way for a meeting between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky.

Erdogan emphasized that both Russia and Ukraine had “legitimate concerns”, which had pushed the dispute between the two countries to war.

Zelensky announced late Monday that the Ukrainian forces had recaptured the city of Irbin, northwest of Kyiv, from the Russian forces, which are reorganizing their ranks to regain control of the region.

“We still have to fight and we have to endure. We can’t express our feelings now. We can’t raise our expectations, simply so we don’t get burned,” Zelensky said in a teleconference speech.

The Ukrainian president also spoke of his country’s readiness to declare its neutrality, as it demanded MoscowIn statements that may lead to some progress in the negotiations.

On Sunday, Zelensky hinted that a settlement might be possible over the “complex issue of Donbass”, the disputed region in the east of the country.

It is unclear how this can be reconciled with his position that “the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine are beyond doubt”.

Russia has always demanded Ukraine to abandon its bid to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which Moscow considers a threat.

Zelensky stressed that Ukraine would need its own security guarantees as part of any deal.







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