Ukraine Rejects Russian Offer of Talks in Complicit Belarus

A satellite image shows a close up of assembled vehicles at V D Bolshoy Bokov airfield, near Mazyr, Belarus, on Feb. 22, 2022. (Courtesy of Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies/Handout via Reuters)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky rejected a Russian offer of talks in Belarus on Sunday, saying Minsk itself was complicit in the Russian invasion, but leaving the door open to negotiations in other locations.

The Kremlin said on Sunday its delegation was ready to meet Ukrainian officials in the Belarusian city of Gomel.

Zelensky continues to express his openness to talks with Russia, however on neutral ground. Earlier on Sunday, Zelensky said he welcomed an offer from Turkey and Azerbaijan to organize diplomatic efforts, which so far have faltered.

The Kremlin confirmed a phone call between Putin and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev but gave no hint of restarting talks.

A day earlier, Zelensky offered to negotiate a key Russian demand: abandoning ambitions of joining NATO.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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