Talks between Ukrainian and Russian officials are scheduled to start Monday at a venue on the Belarusian border, it was announced Sunday.
Russian envoy Vladimir Medinsky said an agreement had been reached with the Ukrainian side to hold talks in Belarus’ Gomel region, but the exact venue, would not be disclosed, according to TASS.
The talks, the first since Russia’s invasion last week, would be held without preconditions and are the result of a phone call between Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelenskiy and his Belarusian colleague Aleksander Lukashenko, according to Reuters.
We agreed that the Ukrainian delegation would meet with the Russian delegation without preconditions on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, near the Pripyat River, Zelenskiy said in a statement.
The negotiations are expected to offer some room to de-escalate the crisis after Russia reportedly suffered a series of military setbacks which would have been pivotal in President Vladimir Putin’s new diplomatic efforts without preconditions.
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said his country only to listen to what Russia had to say after Putin's move to put nuclear forces on high alert.
Meanwhile, other meetings regarding this crisis are also to be held Monday at the United Nations (UN): the General Assembly and the 15-member Security Council - will convene separately.
The Security Council gave a green light Sunday for the first emergency session of the General Assembly in decades. US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said it was necessary to “hold Russia to account for its indefensible actions and for its violations of the UN Charter,” while the Security Council will discuss the humanitarian impact of Russia’s invasion, according to French Government sources. Both meetings follow Russia’s veto Friday of a Security Council resolution demanding that Moscow immediately stop its attack on Ukraine and withdraw all troops. The vote was 11-1, with China, India and the United Arab Emirates abstaining.
Sunday's vote in the Security Council on a resolution co-sponsored by the United States and Albania to authorize the General Assembly session was the same as on Friday -- 11-1 and three abstentions.
Albanian Ambassador Ferit Hoxha said Sunday’s resolution “opens the big doors of the place where the world meets -- the U.N. General Assembly -- to speak out and condemn an unprovoked and unjustified pure act of aggression.”
“Russia must be stopped in its attempt to break the international rules-based order to replace it with its will,” he added.