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Russian negotiator cites ‘progress’ in talks with Ukraine

Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the Russian State Duma's International Affairs Committee speaks to the media after the Russian-Ukrainian talks in the Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park, close to the Polish-Belarusian border, northward from Brest, in Belarus, March 7, 2022. (Maxim Guchek/BelTA Pool Photo via AP)
Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the Russian State Duma's International Affairs Committee speaks to the media after the Russian-Ukrainian talks in the Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park, close to the Polish-Belarusian border, northward from Brest, in Belarus, March 7, 2022. (Maxim Guchek/BelTA Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW — Russia says that negotiators are making headway at talks to resolve fighting in Ukraine, more than two weeks after President Vladimir Putin ordered his army over the borders of its pro-Western neighbor.

Leonid Slutsky, a senior member of Russia’s negotiating team, tells the state-run television network RT that “significant progress” was made following several rounds of talks hosted on the border of neighboring Belarus.

“If we compare the positions of both delegations at the start of the talks and now, we see significant progress,” he tells the network according to Russian news agencies.

“My own expectations are that this progress could develop over the next few days into a unified position held by both delegations in documents to be signed,” agencies cite him as saying.

Negotiators from Moscow and Kyiv have held several rounds of talks since Putin sent in troops to the country. Turkey this week hosted a first meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers.

Earlier today, a senior Ukraine adviser and presidential aide, Mikhailo Podolyak, wrote on Twitter that Russia had stopped issuing “ultimatums” and instead “carefully listens to our positions.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said yesterday that Russia had adopted a “fundamentally different approach” in the talks.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin this week said there had been “some positive shifts” in the dialogue and that negotiations were being held almost daily.

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