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Turkey says Russia, Ukraine ‘close to agreement’

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Turkey on Sunday said Russia and Ukraine made progress on their negotiations to halt the invasion and the two warring sides were close to an agreement, Agence France-Presse reported.

“Of course, it is not an easy thing to come to terms with while the war is going on, while civilians are killed, but we would like to say that momentum is still gained,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in live comments from the southern Turkish province of Antalya.

“We see that the parties are close to an agreement.”

Çavuşoğlu this week visited Russia and Ukraine as Turkey, which has strong bonds with the two sides, has tried to position itself as a mediator.

Ankara hosted the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine in Antalya last week.

Çavuşoğlu said Turkey was in contact with the negotiating teams from the two countries but he refused to divulge the details of the talks as “we play an honest mediator and facilitator role.”

In an interview with daily Hürriyet, presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın said the sides were negotiating six points: Ukraine’s neutrality, disarmament and security guarantees, the so-called “de-Nazification”, removal of obstacles on the use of the Russian language in Ukraine, the status of the breakaway Donbass region and the status of Crimea annexed by Russia in 2014.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly appealed for peace, urging Russia to accept “meaningful” talks for an end to the invasion.

“This is the time to meet, to talk, time for renewing territorial integrity and fairness for Ukraine,” he said, in his latest video posted on social media on Saturday.

Turkey said it was ready to host a meeting between Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We are working day and night for peace,” Çavuşoğlu said on Sunday.

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