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New round of Russia-Ukraine peace talks starts in Istanbul

A fresh round of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine brokered by Turkiye has started in Istanbul on Tuesday.

The two-day peace talks are being held at the presidential Dolmabahce office.

The first session for the day started at 10.30 a.m. local time (0730GMT).

Russian and Ukrainian negotiators arrived in Istanbul on Monday.

Ahead of the talks, Turkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated his call for a cease-fire between Russia and Ukraine as the war has entered its second month.

“We believe that a just peace will have no losers, and a prolonged conflict is not in anyone’s interest,” Erdogan told Russian and Ukrainian negotiators.

Earlier, the Turkish president said phone talks with his Ukrainian and Russian counterparts are continuing in a “favorable direction.”

Before the talks, the heads of the Ukrainian and Russian delegations, David Arakhamia and Vladimir Medinsky, held a one-on-one meeting.

“Delegations are working in parallel on the entire spectrum of contentious issues,” Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the Ukrainian president and Kiev’s lead negotiator in the peace talks with Russia, wrote on Twitter, sharing a photo from the meeting.

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich is also attending the talks. Abramovich held talks in Moscow and Lviv earlier this month in an attempt to mediate between the two nations.

The Russian oligarch was kept off Washington’s sanctions list due to his efforts as a mediator, according to the US media.

Earlier, Wall Street Journal claimed that Abramovich, along with Ukrainian peace negotiators, suffered suspected poisoning, while the Ukrainian side denied the allegations, saying the negotiators were working normally.

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