Putin and Erdogan agree to hold next round of Russia-Ukraine negotiations in Turkey

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Russian media reports say President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday had a phone conversation.

During the conversation, they reportedly discussed the latest situation in the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the negotiation process.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Vladimir Putin, that Turkey will continue its mediatory efforts to establish peace between Russia and Ukraine, the Turkish presidential office said in a statement.

He, in particular, noted that a ceasefire and peace between Russia and Ukraine must be achieved as soon as possible and the humanitarian situation in the region should be improved.

The two leaders "agreed that the next meeting of the negotiation teams of Russia and Ukraine will be held in Istanbul," the statement said.

Meanwhile, Russian presidential aide Vladimir Medinsky, who leads the Russian delegation to the talks, wrote on his Telegram channel earlier on Sunday that a regular round on online talks with Ukraine was held on Sunday. According to TASS, the sides, in his words, agreed to meet offline on March 29-30.

To-date, Russian and Ukrainian delegations have held three rounds of peace talks in-person in Belarus since February 28, and the fourth one started on March 14 in a format of video conference.

Previously, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, met in a resort town of Turkey's southern province of Antalya on March 10.

The meeting, held on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomatic Forum, was the first high-level talks between Moscow and Kiev since Russia launched the so-called special military operation in Ukraine on February 24.

During the meeting, the two sides failed to make progress on a ceasefire but agreed to continue negotiations over the conflict.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskiy on March 27 gave a roughly 90-minute interview to Meduza and the Russian TV station Dozhd, daily Kommersant, and YouTube channel Zygar.

In giving the interview, Zelenskiy said he wanted “Russia to know the truth” about the war.

In a statement issued later in the day, Roskomnadzor warned agencies against publishing the interview, saying an “inspection has been launched” against the four media outlets.

The Prosecutor-General Office of Russia said it would give a “legal assessment” of the material if published.

Russia has criminalized the use of the word “war” to describe its actions in Ukraine, describing it instead as a “special military operation.”

It has also passed a law criminalizing the publication of “fake” information about its war in Ukraine, with those “guilty” facing up to 15 years in prison.

Roskomnadzor has also recently banned multiple news websites, including Meduza and Dozhd, as well as popular social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Source: Asia-Plus