Erdogan Hosts Russia-Ukraine Talks in Istanbul, Urges Urgent Ceasefire


The two-day peace talks are being held at the presidential Dolmabahce office.

Turkish president reiterates call for cease-fire in his remarks to delegations ahead of 2-day negotiations

ISTANBUL — A fresh round of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine brokered by Turkey has started in Istanbul on Tuesday.

The two-day peace talks are being held at the presidential Dolmabahce office.

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

Russian and Ukrainian negotiators arrived in Istanbul on Monday.

Ahead of the talks, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated his call for a cease-fire between Russia and Ukraine as the war has 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.

Earlier, the Turkish president said phone talks with his Ukrainian and Russian counterparts are continuing in a “favorable direction.”

Before the peace talks, the heads of the Ukrainian and Russian delegations, David Arakhamia and Vladimir Medinsky, held a one-on-one meeting.

“Delegations are working in parallel on the entire spectrum of contentious issues,” Mykhailo Podoliak, a top Ukrainian negotiator and adviser to President Volodmyr Zelenskyy, wrote on Twitter, sharing a photo from the meeting.

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

The Russian oligarch was kept off Washington’s sanctions list for his efforts as a mediator, according to the US media.

Earlier, Wall Street Journal claimed that Abramovich, along with Ukrainian peace negotiators, suffered a suspected poisoning in Kyiv, while the Ukrainian side denied the allegations, saying the negotiators were working normally.

Ukraine says ‘difficult negotiations for peace’

As the delegations took a break from talks for lunch, Podoliak took to Twitter to comment on the negotiations.

“Unconditional security guarantees for Ukraine, cease-fire, effective decisions on humanitarian corridors and humanitarian convoys, observance by the parties of the rules and customs of war,” he wrote.

“Difficult negotiations for peace in our country. Istanbul round right now,” he continued.

Several rounds of talks between Russia and Ukraine have been held in Belarus so far, including a video conference on March 14, with no concrete results achieved yet.

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

Although the sides failed to reach an agreement on a cease-fire, they agreed to continue negotiations over the conflict.

Russia’s war on Ukraine has met with international outrage, with the EU, US, and the UK, among others, implementing tough financial sanctions on Moscow.

At least 1,151 civilians have been killed in Ukraine and 1,842 injured, according to estimates by the UN, which cautioned that the true figure is likely far higher.

More than 3.87 million Ukrainians have also fled to several European countries, with millions more displaced inside the country, according to the UN refugee agency. — AA

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