Russia is ready to send a delegation to the Belarusian capital Minsk for peace talks with Ukrainian officials, the Kremlin said on Friday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had twice made the offer to conduct talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Zelensky had made an initial proposal of talks in a speech addressed to Putin late on Wednesday, shortly before the Russian invasion.
He said at the time: “Ukraine’s security is linked to the security of its neighbours.
“That is why today we have to talk about security in the whole of Europe.
“That is our main goal – peace in Ukraine and the security of our citizens.
“For this, we are ready to talk to everyone, including you. In different formats and in any place.”
Kiev has floated the idea that Ukraine could promise to take a neutral status on NATO membership in order to end the violence.
“In response to Zelensky’s proposal, Vladimir Putin is ready to send a delegation at the level of representatives of Defence Ministry, Foreign Ministry, and presidential administration to Minsk for negotiations with the Ukrainian delegation,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.
According to the Kremlin, Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko is ready to create the conditions for a meeting between Russian and Ukrainian delegations.