Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to a meeting between a Ukrainian and Russian delegation for peace talks, according to a post on Zelensky’s Telegram Sunday.
After speaking with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Zelensky announced a meeting would take place “without preconditions” on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We agreed that the Ukrainian delegation would meet with the Russian delegation without preconditions on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, near the Pripyat River,” Zelensky wrote on the Telegram.
“Alexander Lukashenko has taken responsibility for ensuring that all planes, helicopters, and missiles stationed on Belarusian territory remain on the ground during the Ukrainian delegation’s travel, talks, and return,” he continued.
Oksana Markarova, Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S., said Zelensky “was focused on the diplomatic solution” from the beginning.
“He always said, ‘We’re ready for peace talks, we’re not ready to surrender,’” Markarova continued. “We are ready for any peace talks that would stop the war and would get them out from our country.”
Later in the day, Zelensky expressed doubts that the negotiations would be fruitful but said he agreed to the talks so that “not a single citizen of Ukraine has any doubt that I, as president, tried to stop the war.”
“I do not really believe in the outcome of this meeting, but let them try. So that later not a single citizen of Ukraine has any doubt that I, as president, tried to stop the war, when there was even a small, but still a chance,” he said in a video address.
Zelensky had previously turned down the suggestion of holding peace talks in Minsk, the capital of Belarus.
Russian President Vladimir Putin placed nuclear forces on “special regime of combat duty” Sunday.