Russia & Ukraine Officials Begin Diplomatic Talks In Turkey

ISTANBUL — Talks between the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine are underway on the sidelines of a diplomatic summit in Turkey.

An official photograph showed Russia’s Sergey Lavrov flanked by two advisers sitting across from his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba and his officials on Thursday.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu sat at the head of a U-shaped table in a wood-paneled hotel conference room near the Mediterranean city of Antalya.

The talks are the first high-level talks between the two countries since Russia invaded Ukraine two weeks ago. Cavusoglu has said the aim of the meeting is to pave the way for a meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents that would be facilitated by Turkey’s president.

NATO member Turkey, which has cultivated close ties with both Russia and Ukraine, is trying to balance relations with both nations. It has positioned itself as a neutral party, seeking to facilitate negotiations between the warring sides.