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Russian and Ukrainian officials standing by for more peace talks Wednesday

Dmytro Kuleba
Posted at 7:18 AM, Mar 02, 2022

MOSCOW — Russian and Ukrainian officials say they are standing by to resume talks about their war, though the time and place for negotiations was unknown and hopes for a breakthrough remain low.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Wednesday that "in the second half of the day, closer to evening, our delegation will be in place to await Ukrainian negotiators."

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Ukrainian officials are ready for new talks but said the venue is undecided and Kyiv won't accept any Russian ultimatums.

"Russia's demands remain the same as (Russian President Vladimir) Putin announced in his address before the war started," Kuleba said.

Peskov said Putin's culture adviser Vladimir Medinsky remains the main negotiator for Russia.

Wednesday's talks come as Russia has launched a new assault against Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city. Strikes in the city have killed at least four people and wounded several others.

The talks also come a day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told news outlets that he wasn't sure if speaking with Russia regarding peace would be a "waste of time."

"If you do this, and that side is ready, it means they are ready for peace. If they (are not) ready, it means that you are just, you know, just wasting time," Zelenskyy said.

"And do you think you're wasting your time, or do you think they're ready?" one reporter asked.

"We'll see," Zelenskyy responded.

The first round of talks on resolving the Russia-Ukraine war were held near the Belarus-Ukraine border Monday. They ended after five hours without a ceasefire and with only a promise to meet again.