Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is ready to dispatch a high-level delegation for talks with Ukraine in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, the Kremlin says, as the Russian military campaign in Ukraine enters its second day.
On Friday, Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin was ready to “send a delegation at the level of representatives of Defense Ministry, Foreign Ministry, and Presidential Administration to Minsk for negotiations with the Ukrainian delegation.”
Minsk hosted previous peace negotiations on the Ukrainian crisis.
Peskov’s statement came as Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky called for direct talks with Putin in a video message earlier on Friday.
China’s Foreign Ministry also said that Putin had told his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, during a phone call on Friday that his country was willing to “conduct high-level negotiations” with Ukraine. The ministry also cited the Russian leader as saying that the United States and NATO had long turned a blind eye to Russia’s legitimate security concerns, repeatedly failed to honor their commitments, and continued to expand military deployments in Eastern Europe, near Russian borders, challenging Russia’s key red line.
Xi reiterated his country’s support for a solution to the crisis through dialog, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website. Xi also urged all parties to respect the legitimate security concerns of all countries and form a balanced, effective, and sustainable European security mechanism through talks.