The Ukrainian side has picked Gomel, a city in Belarus, as a venue for talks with Russia, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Sunday.
“The city of Gomel was suggested by the Ukrainian side itself as a venue for talks. As we said, the Russian delegation is ready for these talks,” Peskov said.
Russia will not suspend the military operation in Ukraine during the talks with the Ukrainian side, Peskov said.
“For our part we have warned the Ukrainian side that this time the actions suggested by the military operation will not be suspended – as was done yesterday,” he said.
Peskov said on Saturday that on Friday in the afternoon due to the talks with Kiev expected Russian President Vladimir Putin gave an order to stop the movement of the main Russian military forces in Ukraine, though as the other side abandoned dialogue on February 26 in the afternoon the movement resumed in accordance with the planned operation.
Earlier on Sunday Kremlin Spokesman said that the Russian delegation had arrived in Belarus for talks with the Ukrainian side as agreed. The delegation consists of representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Defense Ministry and other Russian departments, including President’s administration, headed by Russian Presidential Aide Vladimir Medinsky.
Russia launched its special military operation aimed at demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine on February 24. On Friday, the troop movement was suspended amid expectation of possible talks with Kiev, but resumed on Saturday as Ukraine refused to participate.
Earlier, the office of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said he might discuss Ukraine’s neutral status as well as the package of guarantees for its security.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced on February 26 that Minsk was ready to provide a venue for holding the negotiations. Late on Saturday, Zelensky said the proposal to arrange talks had been put forward by the presidents of Turkey and Azerbaijan, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ilham Aliyev.