Russia: Interested in starting negotiations with Ukraine “as soon as possible”

Medinsky said in a press statement, Monday, that the delegation prepared by Moscow for negotiations in Belarus “is ready for continuous negotiations until a consensus is reached with Kyiv.”

The Russian official indicated that any agreement reached “must be in the interests of both sides.”

Medinsky explained that the file of the city of Mariupol, which the Donetsk forces declared not to have complete control over, “will be one of the main items on the negotiation agenda in Belarus, in order to avoid a large number of civilian casualties.”

On Sunday, Ukraine said that negotiations with Moscow without preconditions would be held at the Belarus-Ukraine border.

The Ukrainian military said in a statement on Monday that Moscow had “slowed down the pace of the offensive” on the fifth day of its offensive on Ukraine, while negotiations were awaiting at the border with Belarus.

“The Russian occupiers have slowed the pace of the offensive, but they are still trying to make gains in some areas,” the Ukrainian military said in a statement.

As rockets fell on Ukrainian cities, nearly 400,000 Ukrainian civilians, mostly women and children, fled the Russian offensive to neighboring countries.

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