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Russia and Ukraine Open New Round of Peace Talks in Turkey

HeadlineMar 29, 2022

Negotiators from Ukraine and Russia have opened their first direct peace talks in more than two weeks. Ahead of today’s negotiations in Istanbul, Turkey, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine was unwilling to compromise on its sovereignty and territorial integrity but was open to discussing neutrality and a prohibition on Ukraine joining NATO.

On Monday, The Wall Street Journal and the investigative news site Bellingcat reported Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich and Ukrainian peace negotiators suffered symptoms of suspected poisoning after a meeting in Kyiv earlier in March. The symptoms reportedly included red eyes and peeling skin on their faces. The Journal cited unnamed officials who suspected the negotiators were poisoned by hard-liners in Moscow seeking to sabotage peace talks. Others have expressed skepticism. The BBC reports a senior Ukrainian official said members of the Ukrainian delegation were “fine” and that one of them had called reports of poisoning “false.” Roman Abramovich is in Istanbul today as part of the latest round of peace talks. Ahead of the negotiations, Ukraine’s foreign minister warned his delegation to be cautious.

Dmytro Kuleba: “I advise anyone going for negotiations with the Russian Federation not to eat or drink anything, and preferably avoid touching any surface.”

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