Russia has promised to reduce some military action in response to reports of progress in the peace process

Both sides agreed to meet again in two weeks.

The first face-to-face peace talks between Ukraine and Russia in more than two weeks ended five hours later on Tuesday in Turkey, where both sides reported progress on the talks.

In an unexpected move, Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Colonel General Alexander Fomin told reporters after talks on Tuesday that “Russia’s military activity near the Ukrainian capital Kiev and near Chernihiv is being dramatically reduced in an effort to build mutual trust and create more necessary conditions.” Discussion. “

Formin said the “ultimate goal” of the talks was to reach a peace agreement.

Russian negotiator Vladimir Medinsky said Tuesday’s talks were “constructive”.

“We have received a proposal from Ukraine to consider their clear position on its accession to the treaty,” Medinsky told reporters after the session.

Alexander Chali, a Ukrainian negotiator, said further talks in about two weeks could involve other countries in the negotiation process.

David Arakhamia, another Ukrainian negotiator, added: “We believe that enough material has already been created to engage the presidents of Ukraine and Russia in the talks.”

Medinsky noted that Tuesday’s “key conversation” could pave the way for a meeting between heads of state.

“The proposed format is as follows: first an agreement will be drafted, then the agreement will be approved by the negotiators and signed by the foreign ministers in a meeting, and then the possibility of a meeting between the heads of state will be discussed. To sign the agreement,” Medinsky said.

Private talks were held in Istanbul and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed the opposition before the start of the talks.

“It is up to the parties to stop this tragedy,” Erdogan said in his opening remarks, which were broadcast live on Russian TV.

Erdogan said Turkey views Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as valuable friends.

Also in the discussion were Roman Abramovich, a billionaire Russian oligarch whose assets have been frozen due to Western sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

Belarus has previously held private peace talks, and representatives of both sides also communicated via video conferencing.

Russia initially only presented Ukraine with an ultimatum but changed its tactics because its troops faced stiff resistance from Ukrainian forces, who were able to recapture some towns and villages.

Ahead of Fomin’s announcement that Russia was reducing its military activities in Kyiv and Chernihiv, a U.S. defense official said Monday that Russian troops around Kiev had stopped advancing on the city, although they continued to use long-range fire. Russian troops are stationed 15-20 miles north / northwest of the city and about 35 miles east.

“There is a stable situation on the ground, we see the Ukrainians continue to try to defend the city and push the Russians back,” a U.S. official said Monday.

Ahead of Tuesday’s talks, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba warned the Ukrainian delegation to be vigilant for sabotage, including poisoning.

“I advise everyone who is going to have a discussion with Russia, not to eat or drink anything and not to touch any surface,” Kuleba said.

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