Russia-Ukraine talks to start shortly

Negotiations with Ukraine should begin at 12:00 Moscow time )09:00 GMT), head of the Russian delegation, presidential aide Vladimir Medinsky told TASS.

“We have received information that they will arrive in about an hour, respectively, we will sit at the negotiating table at 12,” he said.

Medinsky stressed that the Russian side is “patiently and calmly” waiting for the Ukrainian delegation. “We have been in Belarus for 24 hours. Since yesterday evening, we have been at a place agreed with Ukraine. Unfortunately, the arrival of the Ukrainian delegation was postponed several times due to difficult logistics,” he said.

The Russian delegation is ready to start negotiations with the Ukrainian delegation as soon as its representatives arrive at the meeting place, the head of the Russian delegation said. “The meeting rooms are ready. We are in place and we will be ready to start a dialogue immediately,” he said.

Medinsky said that the Ukrainian delegation at the talks will be represented at a fairly high level, but the Russian Federation is not authorized to disclose the composition of the Ukrainian delegation at the talks.

The Russian delegation is ready to negotiate with the Ukrainian side for as long as it takes to reach an agreement, Medinsky said.

Belarus says that it has prepared a venue to host talks between Ukrainian and Russian delegations.

“The venue for talks between Russia and Ukraine in Belarus has been prepared, the arrival of delegations is expected,” the Belarussian foreign ministry said on social media, releasing a picture of a long table with Russian and Ukrainian flags.

Anatoly Glaz, a spokesperson for the country’s foreign ministry, said: “The talks will start as soon as all the delegations arrive at the meeting point.”

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