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MOSCOW: The Kremlin on Friday said President Vladimir Putin was ready to send a delegation to Belarus for talks with Ukraine, as Russian forces approached Kyiv on the second day of Moscow's invasion.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian leader was "ready" to send a high-level delegation "for talks with a Ukrainian delegation" to Belarusian capital Minsk, which has previously hosted rounds of peace talks over the Ukraine crisis.

He said Putin's ally, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, told him that he would "create the conditions" for such a summit.

Russia has thousands of troops stationed in Belarus, and Ukraine said it was being attacked from several sides -- including from Belarus.

Ukraine soldiers battle Russian troops in capital

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had repeatedly called for talks with the Russian leader during a weeks-long diplomatic push in which Western countries tried to deter Putin from launching an attack.

Hours before Putin announced he was sending troops to Ukraine, Zelensky said he tried to call the Kremlin chief but "there was no answer, only silence".

As Russian troops closed in on Kyiv on Friday, Zelensky issued a new statement urging talks.

"I would like to address the President of the Russian Federation once again. Fighting is going on all over Ukraine. Let's sit down at the negotiating table to stop the deaths of people," he said.

Putin announced the start of a military operation against Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday, when Moscow was asleep.

He did so after recognising two pro-Moscow separatist republics in eastern Ukraine as independent.

The West has imposed a barrage of international sanctions on Moscow in response, but Ukraine has said it should do more.

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samir sardana Feb 26, 2022 02:16am
This is just a DIVERSION ! There is no Oil and Gas sanction on Putin - which means that NATO has given a Green signal to Putin - as Putin is doing the MARKETING FOR NATO - as to Y - Non NATO nations,need to be in NATO ! The Strength of Putin is NOT the Thermo Nukes - but the EU dependence on Oil and Gas from Russia ! It is not the fault of EU Some nations are near to Russia,and so,their CIF rates are lower than,from the Persian Gulf On the same basis, since the freight is low, from Russia - the FOB rates are higher for Russia For Southern EU, Iran is cheaper ! It is all about freight and logistics ! Also,Renew can replace Nuke and Coal - but not Gas and transportation fuel ! Hence,Putin and EU,are made for each other,like Adam and Eve ! dindooohindoo E-Vehicles also need large amounts of E ! That E will also come from Oil - but it can be swapped with Renew,to some extent ! That is the Y the threat to Putin,is NOT NATO - it is RENEWABLES and E-VEHICLES !
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