No progress on Ukraine ceasefire in Lavrov-Kuliba talks

  • Lavrov says Russia never wants to rely on the West again
  • He says Putin will not refuse to meet Zelensky
  • Kuleba says the most difficult situation in Mariupol
  • The meeting in Turkey was their first high-level talks

Antalya, Turkey (Reuters) – No progress has been made in achieving a ceasefire in Ukraine, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Thursday, their first high-level talks since Moscow invaded its neighbor. .

Kuleba told reporters after their meeting in Turkey that the most dangerous situation was in the southern port of Mariupol, but that Lavrov had not committed to a humanitarian corridor there and there was no progress on agreeing to a broader ceasefire.

“I made a simple proposal to Minister Lavrov: I can contact my Ukrainian ministers, authorities and the president now and give you 100% guarantees on security guarantees for humanitarian corridors,” he said.

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I asked him, “Can you do the same?” And he didn’t answer.”

At a separate press conference, Lavrov said President Vladimir Putin would not refuse to hold a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss “specific” issues.

Russia never wants to rely on Western countries or companies again, Lavrov said, adding that the West is using Ukraine to undermine Russia and create a dangerous position in the region that will last for many years.

Responding to Kyiv’s condemnation of Wednesday’s bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol, Lavrov said the building was no longer used as a hospital and had been occupied by Ukrainian forces, although the Kremlin separately said the incident was being investigated.

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The Russian invasion has displaced more than two million people in what the United Nations describes as the fastest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War Two. Read more

Moscow has said that all of its demands – including that Kyiv take a neutral stance and give up aspirations to join NATO – must be met to end its offensive.

Moscow describes its incursion as a “special military operation” to disarm Ukraine and expel leaders it calls “neo-Nazis”. Kyiv and its Western allies dismiss this as an unfounded excuse to wage an unprovoked war against a democracy of 44 million people.

Turkey, which shares maritime borders with Russia and Ukraine in the Black Sea and has good relations with both sides, called the Russian invasion unacceptable and called for an urgent ceasefire but opposed sanctions against Moscow.

While establishing close ties with Russia in the areas of energy, defense and trade and relying heavily on Russian tourists, Turkey also sold drones to Ukraine, much to the chagrin of Moscow.

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Additional reporting by Jay Faulconbridge in London and Caesar, Pearson Altayle and Darren Butler in Istanbul. Editing by Jonathan Spicer, Cynthia Osterman, Dominic Evans and Thomas Janowski

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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