Wed. Jun 29th, 2022

Sergey Lavrov and Dmytro Kuleba touched down in Turkey ahead of most high-profile talks since the start of the military conflict in Ukraine

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba have reportedly landed in Turkey, which offered to mediate the talks between the top diplomats of their respective countries.

Moscow’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that Lavrov was set to depart for the Turkish city of Antalya on Wednesday, with local media reports later noting that both he and Kuleba had arrived for the peace negotiations, set for Thursday at the Regnum Carya Hotel.

Spokesperson for the Ukraine Foreign Ministry Oleg Nikolenko has confirmed Kuleba’s arrival to the resort on Twitter.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu first announced the planned meeting on Monday, voicing hopes it would mark “a turning point and…an important step towards peace and stability.” He said the talks were brokered following “intensive diplomatic efforts” by Ankara, and that he would be present for the dialogue.

US President Joe Biden is set to hold a call with Turkey’s Recep Erdogan to discuss the situation in Ukraine also on Thursday, the White House has confirmed.

The meeting in Antalya will follow three rounds of talks in Belarus – a close Russian ally – which produced limited humanitarian corridor plans in several Ukrainian cities but few other results. Since then, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has signaled willingness to discuss key Russian demands, including the recognition of Crimea as a Russian territory and the status of the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk republics.

Moscow says its “special military operation” was launched in defense of the two separatist republics in the Donbass region, though the mission has since extended into major Ukrainian cities. Kiev, meanwhile, has denounced the attack as unprovoked, insisting it had no plans to reclaim the separatist areas by force.

READ MORE: Zelensky ready for ‘compromises’ on Donbass and Crimea