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Ukraine and Russia begin 2nd round of talks

Ukraine and Russia begin 2nd round of talks
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Kyiv: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's office says a second round of talks with Russia about the war in Ukraine has begun in neighbouring Belarus.

A video released by Zelenskyy's office Thursday showed the informally dressed Ukrainian delegation walking into the meeting room where they shook hands with Russian delegates in suits and ties.

The talks are aimed at stopping the fighting that has sent more than 1 million people fleeing over Ukraine's borders, but the two sides appeared to have little common ground.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned Ukraine that it must quickly accept the Kremlin's demand for its demilitarisation and declare itself neutral, formally renouncing its bid to join NATO.

Putin has long contended that Ukraine's turn toward the West is a threat to Moscow, an argument he used to justify last week's invasion.

The talks came as the Russian military made significant gains in the south of Ukraine as part of an effort to sever the country's connection to the Black and Azov seas.

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