Talks between foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine end without ceasefire

Mar 10, 2022: Ukraine and Russia’s foreign ministers held talks in Turkey on Thursday, the first high-level talks between the two countries since Russia invaded its neighbor. But after 90 minutes of talks, both sides said no progress had been made.

Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said he had discussed a 24-hour cease-fire with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, but no progress was made. “We also talked on the cease-fire, but no progress was accomplished on that,” Kuleba told reporters after the meeting concluded. He described the in-person meeting as “difficult” and accused Lavrov of bringing “traditional narratives” to the negotiating table.

“I want to repeat that Ukraine has not surrendered, does not surrender, and will not surrender,” said Kuleba.

Meanwhile, Lavrov said Russia is ready to continue negotiations and he said Russian President Vladimir Putin would not refuse a meeting with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy to discuss “specific” issues. He blamed Western powers for the conflict, saying Russia was forced to act because the West had rejected “our proposal on security guarantees.”

The dialogue brokered by Turkey was mediated by Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, and photographs released at the start showed the Russian, Turkish and Ukrainian delegations sitting around a U-shaped table, with each minister accompanied by two other officials.

Turkey’s Cavusoglu said when announcing the talks earlier this week he hoped it would mark “a turning point and… an important step towards peace and stability.”

On Wednesday, after holding more phone conversations with Kuleba and Lavrov, he said the talks could “crack the door open to a permanent cease-fire.”

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