Talks between Russian and Ukrainian officials have began on the Belarusian border as diplomatic isolation and economic sanctions on Russia deepen four days after invading Ukraine.
Talks began on Monday with Ukraine calling for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian forces.
Russia has been cagier, with the Kremlin declining to comment on Moscow’s aim in negotiations.
It was not clear whether any progress could be achieved after President Vladimir Putin on Thursday launched the assault and put Russia’s nuclear deterrent on high alert on Sunday.
Russian forces seized two small cities in southeastern Ukraine and the area around a nuclear power plant, the Interfax news agency said on Monday.
The talks are being held on the border with strong Russian ally Belarus, where a referendum on Sunday approved a new constitution ditching the country’s non-nuclear status at a time when the former Soviet republic has become a launch pad for Russian troops invading Ukraine.
Credit: Al Jazera