Ukrainian peace talks resume with a 'fresh hope for peace'
Negotiators from Russia and Ukraine continue to hold face-to-face talks in Istanbul, Turkey, hoping to reach an agreement that would end the conflict that has claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions.
In the Black Sea, Turkey has a maritime border with both Ukraine and Russia, has good relations with both, and has been trying to mediate the conflict. Foreign ministers of both sides spoke in Antalya several weeks ago, but no progress was made on a ceasefire.
"Stopping this tragedy" is up to them, Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan told delegates at a welcome ceremony.
“We hope that your meetings and your consultations will be auspicious for your countries, for our region, and for all of humanity,” Erdogan told the delegates at the start of the talks.
Both President Vladimir Putin of Russia and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine spoke by phone with Turkish President Erdogan in recent days, with Erdogan saying their conversation had revived expectations of a negotiated settlement.
“A new round of negotiations is ahead, because we are looking for peace. Really. Without delay,” Zelenskyy said.
He said that the priority for the Ukraine in the talks is its sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as meaningful security guarantees.
“Our goal is obvious—peace and the restoration of normal life,” Zelenskyy said.
“We do not discuss ‘de-Nazification’ and demilitarization at all. I said that we will not sit at the negotiating table at all if we talk about some kind of demilitarization, some kind of “de-Nazification.” For me, these are completely incomprehensible things,” Zelenskyy said.
28 March 2022