No ceasefire! Ukraine-Russia 2nd round talks yield no desirable outcome

Ukraine-Russia talks
The photograph released by Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the Head of the Office of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Photo: Twitter

Kyiv: The second round of talks between Ukraine and Russia that lasted three hours in neighbouring Belarus did not yield the desirable outcome.

Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the Head of the Office of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, tweeted his country's disappointment. "There are decisions only on the organization of humanitarian corridors," tweeted Podolyak.

Earlier, Zelenskyy's office had confirmed the news about the talks with Russia continuing its attack.

A video released by Zelenskyy's office Thursday had showed the informally dressed Ukrainian delegation walking into the meeting room where they shook hands with Russian delegates in suits and ties.

The talks had aimed at stopping the fighting that has sent more than 1 million people fleeing over Ukraine's borders, but the two sides appeared to have little common ground.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had warned Ukraine that it must quickly accept the Kremlin's demand for its demilitarisation and declare itself neutral, formally renouncing its bid to join NATO.

Putin has long contended that Ukraine's turn toward the West is a threat to Moscow, an argument he used to justify last week's invasion.

The talks had become a necessity after Russian military made significant gains in the south of Ukraine as part of an effort to sever the country's connection to the Black and Azov seas.

Leonid Slutsky, a senior Russian lawmaker who was part of the Russian delegation in talks, said that the details of safe corridors will need to be worked out quickly.

He said that the next round of talks could lead to agreements, some of which would need to be ratified by Russian and Ukrainian parliaments.

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