Russia pledges to reduce military activity in direction of Kyiv, Chernihiv

Remarks by Russia's deputy defense minister come after meeting with Ukrainian delegation in Istanbul.

Russia pledges to reduce military activity in direction of Kyiv, Chernihiv

Russia will significantly decrease its military activities in the direction of Ukraine's Kyiv and Chernihiv to increase trust for future negotiations, the country's deputy defense minister announced on Tuesday.

Aleksandr Fomin was speaking at a press briefing after a fresh round of Russia-Ukraine peace talks held in Istanbul.

"The Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation, for purposes of trust-building and creating conditions for holding talks further, and achieving the final goal of agreeing and signing a peace treaty, made a decision to radically decrease the military activities in the directions of Kyiv and Chernihiv," Fomin said.

He added that the details will be provided by the Russian General Staff after the delegation returns to Moscow.

The minister said Moscow expects Kyiv will also create conditions for further "normal work."

Russia's war against Ukraine, which started on Feb. 24, has met international outrage and Western countries have implemented tough financial sanctions on Moscow.

Fomin also urged Ukraine to take measures to stop the alleged torture of Russian prisoners of war. Video footage is being circulated online in which captured Russian soldiers are being shot in the legs allegedly by Ukrainian forces.

"I would like to call on the representatives of Ukraine and urge Ukraine to strictly comply with the Geneva Conventions, including with regard to the humane treatment of prisoners of war," he said.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Medinsky, the head of the Russian delegation, said a meeting between the presidents of Russia and Ukraine could be held when a draft of a possible peace treaty is ready and approved.

"This meeting is possible, it is possible when a treaty is ready for signing, worked out by the negotiators and the foreign ministers," he said, adding: "If the work on the treaty is quick, and a compromise is found, a possibility to make peace will become much closer."

According to Medinsky, the meeting in Istanbul was "constructive" and the Ukrainian side presented its "comprehensive position" to include in the peace treaty.

"These proposals will be considered in the near future, reported to the president, and our corresponding response will be given," he said.

Turkiye has won widespread praise for its efforts to end the war, helped by its unique position in having friendly relations with both Russia and Ukraine.

On March 10, it hosted the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers in the southern resort city of Antalya, the highest-level meeting of the two sides since the war began.