Kyiv negotiator says Russia talks on pause, to continue tomorrow

FILE PHOTO: Ukraine's presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak from the Ukrainian delegation speaks after the talks in the Gomel region, Belarus February 28, 2022. Sergei Kholodilin/BelTA/Handout via REUTERS

Kyiv: The fourth round of talks between Ukraine and Russia was paused for the day and will continue on Tuesday, said the lead negotiator from the war-torn east European nation.

“A technical pause has been taken in the negotiations until tomorrow. For additional work in the working subgroups and clarification of individual definitions. Negotiations continue,” negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak was quoted as saying by Reuters.

The talks were being held between delegations of the two warring nations amid massive firing and shelling by Russian troops battering Ukrainian cities and regions.

Podolyak had earlier said “communication is being held, yet it’s hard.” He wrote this on Twitter along with a photo of the two sides meeting by video link.

In a video address, Ukraine’s President President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had said, “Everyone is waiting for news. We will definitely report in the evening.”

According to a reports, the negotiations were taking place by video conference involving higher-level officials from the two countries. The previous round of talks took place in person in Belarus, and did not yield any breakthrough to end the fighting in Ukraine or lasting agreements on humanitarian routes.

Earlier, Podolyak said the country woud demand an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. “Peace, an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of all Russians troops — and only after this can we talk about regional relations and about political differences,” he said in a video statement posted to Twitter.

However, fresh talks raised hopes that progress would be made in evacuating civilians from besieged Ukrainian cities and getting emergency supplies to areas without enough food, water and medicine.

Hours ago, Ukrainian authorities said two persons died and seven were injured after Russian forces struck an airplane factory in Kyiv, sparking a large fire. The Antonov factory is Ukraine’s largest aircraft manufacturing plant and is best known for producing many of the world’s biggest cargo planes.

A day ago, Russian missiles hit a military training base in western Ukraine, killing at least 35 people and injuring 134 others. The base had previously served as a crucial hub for cooperation between Ukraine and NATO.

Air raid alerts were sounded in cities and towns all around Ukraine throughout the night, from near the Russian border in the east to the Carpathian Mountains in the west, as fighting continued on the outskirts of Kyiv, according to reports.