Images of bodies found in the Ukrainian town of Bucha and other areas near Kyiv in the wake of a Russian pullback have scuppered the positive atmosphere of recent talks between Russia and Ukraine, Turkey said Thursday, according to Agence France-Presse.
“The images from Bucha, Irpin and other regions are unacceptable. These scenes have overshadowed the negotiations,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told journalists after a NATO meeting in Brussels.
“The emerging positive atmosphere, unfortunately, was overshadowed.”
NATO member Turkey, which has friendly ties with both Russia and Ukraine, has been mediating for an end to the six-week war.
Turkey hosted talks last week between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators. On March 31 Çavuşoğlu had said the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers could meet within two weeks.
The images from Bucha emerged last weekend. Ukrainian officials have accused Russia of killing hundreds of civilians in the wider region around Kyiv. Russia denies the accusations.
The Turkish foreign minister insisted Thursday that talks would continue, adding that Russia and Ukraine looked “warmly” towards Turkey hosting another round of negotiations.
Earlier on Thursday Russia accused Ukrainian negotiators of changing demands since the Istanbul talks, claiming that Kyiv was not interested in ending the fighting.
Ukraine urged Russia to show it was ready for dialogue by lowering “hostility.”
Çavuşoğlu said he met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Brussels and told him the scenes from Bucha were “shameful in the name of humanity.”