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Russia-Ukraine talks begin

International: Mikhail Podoliak, an adviser to the Ukrainian president, has confirmed that peace talks with Russia have begun in the uninhabited Ukrainian town of Prepait on the Belarusian border. On Monday, representatives of the two countries arrived at the Belarusian border for talks.

Kremlin sources said a ceasefire or troop withdrawal would be the main topic of discussion at the meeting. Earlier, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peshkov said Russia had agreed to negotiate a ceasefire with Ukraine.

Russia, meanwhile, has recognized Donetsk and Luhansk, two Russian-speaking separatist regions in the Donbass region of Ukraine, as independent states. Moscow could make accepting the decision one of the conditions for a ceasefire with Kiev.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that Monday will be an important day for the whole country as fighting continues across Ukraine.

The BBC’s Abduzalil Abdurasulv in Kiev says Ukrainian authorities have announced that their delegation has arrived at the Ukraine-Belarus border to hold talks with a Russian delegation. They say the main issues for them are a ceasefire and the withdrawal of troops from Ukrainian territory.

Earlier, talks were postponed due to logistical and security issues.

On Sunday, Ukrainian President Zelensky said he did not expect any progress from the talks. At the same time, he said, they should try to take advantage of this opportunity, even if it is small, so that no one can blame Ukraine for not trying to stop the war.

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