Ukraine ready to demand cease-fire during peace talks with Russia in Istanbul: Official

2 days of talks set to start at 0730GMT Tuesday at Dolmabahce Presidential Office.

Ukraine ready to demand cease-fire during peace talks with Russia in Istanbul: Official

Ukraine will be demanding a cease-fire and a sustainable agreement for it during peace talks with Russia beginning Tuesday in Istanbul, Turkiye.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told a local television channel that according to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s instructions, the Ukrainian side will not negotiate on people, land and sovereignty.

Kuleba said that during the talks, the minimum demand will be to resolve humanitarian issues and the maximum demand would be a cease-fire.

Security guarantees, he said, would have to be followed by a referendum in Ukraine.

Kuleba noted that the issue of holding a referendum will not be discussed in the negotiations in Turkiye and that this is an internal matter of Ukraine.

Delegations from Russia and Ukraine will hold the fresh round of peace talks as Russia’s war on Ukraine has continued for over a month.

The two days of talks, to be held at the Dolmabahce Presidential Office, are set to start at 10.30 a.m. local time (0730GMT).

The talks will be closed to the press, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

Earlier today, a private plane carrying the Russian delegation landed at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport around 4 p.m. local time (1300GMT).

The Ukrainian delegation is expected to arrive in Istanbul later this evening.

The Russia-Ukraine war, which started on Feb. 24, has been met with international outrage, with the European Union, US and UK among others implementing tough financial sanctions on Moscow.

At least 1,151 civilians have been killed in Ukraine and 1,824 injured, according to estimates by the UN, which cautioned that the true figure is likely far higher.

More than 3.87 million Ukrainians have also fled to several European countries, with millions more displaced inside the country, according to the UN refugee agency.