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Ukrainian and Russian negotiators agree to hold talks in Belarus

Ukrainian service members collect unexploded shells after fighting with Russian forces in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv in the morning of Feb. 26, 2022, according to Ukrainian service personnel at the scene.
Sergei Supinsky
/
AFP via Getty Images
Ukrainian service members collect unexploded shells after fighting with Russian forces in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv in the morning of Feb. 26, 2022, according to Ukrainian service personnel at the scene.

The office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a message on the Telegram app that a delegation of the Ukrainian government will meet for talks with Russian officials near the Pripyat River in Belarus.

Russia had earlier proposed holding talks in Gomel, a Belarusian city near the border with Ukraine.

The Ukrainian response did not specify when the meeting would take place.

The Ukrainian president's office said Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko pledged that all planes, helicopters and missiles stationed in Belarus will remain on the ground during the Ukrainian delegation's travel, talks and return, NPR's Frank Langfitt reported.

Oksana Markarova, the Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S., said in an interview on ABC's "This Week" that the government is ready for any peace talks that would stop the fighting and see Russian forces leave Ukraine.

"Our president from the beginning, even before the war started, always was focused on the diplomatic solution. And even after they started the war, he actually called for peace talks all the time," Markarova said. "But he always said, 'we are ready for peace talks, we are not ready to surrender.'"

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