Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet for talks at a venue on the Belarusian border with Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office said on Sunday.
The talks, the first since Russia unleashed a full scale invasion of Ukraine last week, would be held without preconditions and are the result of a phone call between Zelenskiy and the Belarusian president, Zelenskiy said.
“We agreed that the Ukrainian delegation would meet with the Russian delegation without preconditions on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, near the Pripyat River,” he said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, 27 February, ordered his defence chiefs to put the country’s “deterrence forces” on high alert amid tensions with the West over Ukraine, reports AP. He also accused Western countries of taking “unfriendly” steps against his country.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Army has retaken the city of Kharkiv following street fighting with Russian troops, the region’s governor said on Sunday, 27 February.
Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the country has submitted its application against Russia to the International Court of Justice. He also said that he expects the trials to start next week.
He also said that he was ready for peace talks with Russia, but not in Belarus as that was the staging ground for the attack on Ukraine. He said that Ukraine had proposed other locations such as Warsaw, Bratislava, Budapest, Istanbul and Baku.
His comments came shortly after reports emerged that a Russian delegation had reached Belarus to hold negotiations with Ukraine.
Earlier, Russian troops had entered the city of Kharkiv, the advisor to Ukraine’s interior minister has reportedly said. Meanwhile, Russia has also claimed to have besieged two big cities in south and southeast of Ukraine, reports news agency AFP.
Germany and its Western allies have agreed to cut Russia out of the SWIFT global payment system, a spokesperson for the German government said on Saturday, in a third sanctions package aimed at halting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.