Are Russia and Ukraine holding peace talks? And what does this mean?

A first round of peace talks has yielded no results, but there are more scheduled to come.

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A first round of peace talks has yielded no results, but there are more scheduled to come.

Last night, as fighting raged on in Ukraine and thousands of nationals fled from the Russian attacks, there was a meeting taking place on the northern border with Belarus between Ukrainian and Russian officials. It marked the first time they had met for talks since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia last Friday.

It was hoped - but not expected - that something positive might come from the peace talks. Reuters news agency report that the officials from Russia and Ukraine ended peace talks on Monday evening after around six hours to return to their respective capitals for further consultations.

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What are peace talks?

Peace talks are negotiating talks between countries and governments to end a conflict or come to peace. While Ukraine have been clear with their aim: an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian troops from the country, Russia has not been quite so open. According to the Independent, the Kremlin have declined to comment on what it is that Moscow wants in the negotiations.

They also report that a spokesperson for the Chelsea FC owner, Roman Abramovich confirmed that the Russian had been contacted by "the Ukrainian side for support in achieving a peaceful resolution".

What can be expected from the peace talks?

Commenting ahead of the talks, Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelenskyy explained why he'd agreed to send a Ukrainian delegation to negotiate with Russia, whilst not being hopeful of its result.

“I do not really believe in the outcome of this meeting, but let them try, so that later not a single citizen of Ukraine has any doubt that I, as president, tried to stop the war,” Mr Zelensky said on Sunday.

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It's expected that after further consultation, the officials will come back together for a second round of talks tomorrow, reports the Guardian.

There's been dismay and anger that shelling of Ukraine continued though during the peace talks. As President Zelenskyy summed up the dire situation: "Fair negotiations can only happen when one side is not shooting at the other one during the exact time the negotiations are happening."

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With a second round of peace talks slated for Wednesday, we'll keep you posted on any major updates as they come.

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