Russia and Ukraine started discussing ways to resolve the armed conflict. Kiev first assured that they did not intend to capitulate. Representatives for Moscow noted that they would be ready to continue negotiations "for as long as required."
The meeting of the delegations of Russia and Ukraine began in the Gomel region of Belarus. The meeting is taking place near the Ukrainian border on the banks of the Pripyat River.
The venue of the meeting remains undisclosed.
Vladimir Medinsky, the head of the Russian delegation, earlier assured that Moscow was ready to talk with representatives of Ukraine for as long as it takes to reach an agreement.
He noted that representatives of Russia did not sleep all night and were waiting for the arrival of the Ukrainian delegation. The time of the arrival of the Ukrainian delegation was postponed several times during the night.
“Unfortunately, they have very complicated logistics,” Medinsky summed up.
President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky earlier tweeted that that President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko "took responsibility to ensure that during the departure, negotiations and return of the Ukrainian delegation, all aircraft, helicopters and missiles stationed on the territory of Belarus will remain grounded."
Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said on the morning of February 27 that the Russian delegation had arrived in Belarus for talks with Ukraine. Zelensky later said that the negotiations in Belarus were impossible.
At 15.00 Moscow time on February 27, after the deadline set for the start of negotiations was left behind, Medinsky told reporters that the Ukrainian side had nevertheless agreed to the meeting.
Kiev announced its readiness for negotiations with Moscow during the second day of fighting.
"We are not afraid, we are not afraid of anything, we are not afraid to defend our state, we are not afraid of Russia, we are not afraid to talk with Russia about everything: about security guarantees for our country, about a neutral status,” Zelensky said.
On February 27, Zelensky said that he had doubts about the success of the negotiation process with Russia.
"I do not really believe in the success of this meeting. But let them try,” Zelensky said.
Kiev does not intend to surrender following the results of the negotiations, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said.
"There is nothing wrong with the negotiations if they end in peace and end the war, as it should be. But we are not going to surrender or capitulate, nor are we going to give up on our territory, not even an inch," the minister said.
Volodymyr Saldo, Acting Governor of the Kherson region, said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine were suffering heavy losses while trying to cut across the Dnieper Rvier