Ukraine War: Zelensky Agrees to Talks on Border with Pro-Russia Belarus

KYIV, UKRAINE - FEBRUARY 25: Members of the territorial defense are seen near the recruitm
Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images

Ukraine has agreed to meet a Russian delegation on the Ukraine-Belarusian border, despite initially refusing the country as a location for talks over its involvement in the invasion.

Negotiations are set to be held between Russian and Ukrainian officials on the invaded country’s border with Belarus.

This is despite Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky initially refusing Belarus as a location for prospective talks over its involvement in the conflict.

“Of course we want peace and want to meet. We want to end the war. Warsaw, Bratislava, Istanbul, and Baku were offered to Russia. Any other cities are fine with us as long as there are no missiles flying from this country,” Zelenski said, according to a CNN report.

“If there were no aggressive actions from your territory, we could talk in Minsk, your city,” Zelenskiy added, addressing the Belarusian regime directly. “When you were neutral, we talked in Minsk. That’s why we’re not talking in Minsk now.”

However, despite these initial, fiery remarks, the Ukrainian government appears to have at least partially changed its tune, with Sky News reporting that the country has agreed to negotiations on its border with the pro-Russian country.

“We agreed that the Ukrainian delegation would meet with the Russian delegation without preconditions on the Ukrainian Belarusian border, near the Pripyat river,” a translation posted online by a POLITICO journalist reads.

“Alexander Lukashenko has taken responsibility for ensuring that all planes, helicopters, and missiles stationed on Belarusian territory remain on the ground during the Ukrainian delegation’s travel, talks, and return,” it continues.

As those directly involved in the conflict look set to begin negotiations, Western nations outside of it are being threatened with a drastic escalation of violence by Russia should they decide to get involved.

Many officials in Europe and the United States have been vocally supportive of Ukraine, with Britain’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss going so far as to say she supports British citizens travelling to Ukraine to take up arms against Russia — despite her country having previously jailed people for similar travel.

Meanwhile, nations across the West have implemented a wide variety of sanctions against the Russian Federation, such as booting many Russian banks off of the essential “Swift” transfer system, in the hopes of deterring Putin.

However, the Russian president has now pushed back hard against Western involvement in the conflict, ordering his nuclear deterrent forces on high alert.

“As you can see, Western countries are not only taking unfriendly economic steps against our country — I mean the illegitimate sanctions everyone knows about — [but the] highest-ranking officials of the leading NATO countries are also allowing themselves to make aggressive statements in relation to our country,” Sky News reports Putin as saying.

“For this reason, I order the Minister of Defence and the Chief of General Staff to put deterrent forces of the Russian army on special combat standby duty.”

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