Diplomats from Russia and Ukraine have started talks in the southern Turkish resort of Antalya and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Kavusoglu has also joined.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ukrainian counterpart Dmitro Kuleba began talks in Turkey on Thursday in the first such high-level contact since Moscow attacked its neighbour, officials from both sides and their hosts said. A Turkish official told AFP in comments confirmed by the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministries that the ministers began talks on the sidelines of a diplomatic forum in the southern Turkish resort of Antalya, attended by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Kavusoglu. Turkey has pressed for weeks to play a mediating role in the conflict. But analysts fear the meeting has the least chance of success.
Images of the meeting showed Russian, Turkish and Ukrainian delegations sitting on each side of an ‘N’-shaped table, each minister accompanied by just two other officials.
Kuleba said in a video on Wednesday that his hopes for talks were “limited” and said his success would depend on “what instructions and instructions Lavrov is under” from the Kremlin.
The meeting is taking place against the backdrop of Ukrainian and international outrage following an attack on a children’s hospital in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, which, according to Kyiv, killed at least three people, including a young girl.
The Turkey talks are one of several diplomatic initiatives.
Israel is seeking a solution through direct talks with President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron is also calling the Kremlin chief frequently.
“Today is a very slim expectation and we need to hold on to it … without being naive,” French Europe Minister Clement Beaune told France Inter radio.
“The goal is to stop the fighting, but we need to put a lot of pressure on Russia,” he said.
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