No progress was made towards agreeing on a ceasefire after the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers met in Turkey on Thursday morning, the BBC reported.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that the demands made by his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov amounted to surrender.
While officials from Kyiv and Moscow have held several rounds of talks in Belarus, the meeting on Thursday in Turkey’s Antalya city represented the first time that Russia had sent a minister for discussions regarding the conflict, Agence France-Presse reported.
Russia on February 24 had invaded Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin has described the invasion as a “special military operation” aimed at dislodging the “neo-Nazis” ruling Ukraine.
On Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also participated in the discussions to resolve the conflict. Cavusoglu said that the aim was to pave the way for a meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents, which would be facilitated by Turkey’s president.
However, the Ukrainian foreign minister, in a video released on Facebook before the meeting, said he had limited expectations from his counterpart, Al Jazeera reported. “I am not pinning any great hopes on them, but we will try and get the most out of [the talks],” said Kuleba.
Russia’s “military operation” in Ukraine, which has now continued for two weeks, has seemingly gained momentum.
On Wednesday, a Russian airstrike severely damaged a maternity hospital in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, leaving at least 17 injured. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said women and children were trapped under the wreckage.
The persons fleeing the conflict in Ukraine have entered countries on the western border like Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Moldova, The Associated Press reported. The invasion has forced two million people to flee the country.