27 Feb 2022 13:20

Ukraine refuses to hold talks with Russia in Belarus' Gomel - Zelensky's press secretary

KYIV. Feb 27 (Interfax) - Ukraine will not attend any talks with Russia in Belarus' Gomel, Ukrainian presidential press secretary Serhiy Nikiforov said.

"We hear statements that the Russian delegation has arrived in Gomel for talks. I must say that no representatives of Ukraine will be there," Nikiforov wrote on Facebook.

"Such a format was discussed indeed. But in the last minute, Russian negotiators demanded that the Ukrainian army lay down arms," Nikiforov said, stressing that Ukraine is ready for talks, but not ready for any preliminary conditions. The same concerns the venue.

"We cannot go to Belarus, from the territory of which airplanes and missiles are being dispatched to our cities. Again, we would have relied on the assurances of the hosting side in what concerns the security of our delegation. Considering the past developments, such assurances cost very little," he said.

Ukraine's stance has remained unchanged, he said.

"We are ready to meet in any neutral place: Baku, Istanbul, Warsaw, Vienna... Continue yourselves. We further invite Russia to sit down at the negotiating table as soon as possible," Zelensky's press secretary said.

St ek

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