Turkey – (AFP) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmitry Kuleba arrived in Turkey on Thursday for their first meeting at this level since the February 24 Russian-Ukrainian war. Kiev and Moscow officials have met several times, but this is the first time Russia has sent a minister to discuss the crisis. A Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday that Guleba had arrived in Antalya, south of Turkey, for “talks on ending the war.” A Turkish official confirmed to AFP that Sergei Lavrov had arrived. For his part, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement on Wednesday: “We are working to prevent this crisis from turning into a tragedy.” The White House announced Wednesday that the Turkish president will hold a telephone conversation with his US President Joe Biden at 15.00 GMT. Talks between Kiev and Moscow have so far opened several ceasefires and humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians, but Russia has been accused of violating those agreements. But Ukraine’s foreign minister said in a Facebook video that “there is not much hope in the talks.” The Russian and Ukrainian ministers will join their Turkish envoy to the meeting, Mevlut Cavusoglu, whose country is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and is keen to maintain strong ties with both sides despite the conflict.
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