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Russia-Ukraine war: 'No progress' on ceasefire following talks in Turkey

Ukraine's foreign minister says meeting was 'difficult' and accused Russia of bringing 'traditional narratives' to the table
Television footage showed the Russian and Ukrainian delegations sitting at tables facing each other, either side of a delegation headed by Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (Reuters)

Ukraine and Russia have made no progress towards agreeing a ceasefire after the Russian invasion at tense talks in Turkey, Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Thursday.

"We also talked on the ceasefire but no progress was accomplished on that," Kuleba told reporters after a news conference following his meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in Antalya.

Kuleba described the meeting as "difficult" and accused his counterpart of bringing "traditional narratives" to the table.

During a separate news conference following the meeting, Lavrov said he had reminded Kuleba that Moscow had presented proposals to Kyiv, and that Russia wanted to see what he called a friendly, demilitarised Ukraine.

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The Ukrainian foreign minister said that it appeared Russia will continue its offensive and seeks a surrender from Kyiv that it will not get.

Kuleba said his impression from the meeting was that Russia is not in a position at this point to establish a ceasefire after invading Ukraine.

Lavrov has a different impression of what foreign ministers do in a crisis, he added.

Lavrov said Russian President Vladimir Putin would not refuse a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss "specific" issues.

Both countries said they were willing to continue talks in the future.

Asked about the bombing of a Ukrainian children's hospital on Wednesday, Lavrov said it had occurred after Ukrainian forces had taken over the premises and there were no patients there.

Ukraine has said three people, including a child, were killed in the attack, and that 17 were wounded.

Turkish mediation

The Turkish coastal city of Antalya hosted the first meeting between Ukraine and Russia's foreign ministers since Moscow invaded its neighbour.

Officials from Kyiv and Moscow held several rounds of discussions in Belarus, but the meeting in Turkey is the first time Russia has sent a minister for talks on the crisis.

Earlier, television footage had shown the Russian and Ukrainian delegations sitting at tables facing each other, either side of a delegation headed by Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

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Dialogue between Kyiv and Moscow has so far yielded several local ceasefires and humanitarian corridors to evacuate residents, but Russia has been accused of breaching those agreements.

Moscow said before the talks that all of its demands - including that Kyiv takes a neutral position and drops aspirations of joining the Nato alliance - must be met to end its assault. 

The sit-down comes as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has pushed for Ankara to play a mediation role.

"We are working to stop this crisis from transforming into a tragedy," Erdogan said on Wednesday. 

"I hope the meeting between the ministers will open the way to a permanent ceasefire."

Nato member Turkey is keen to maintain strong relations with both sides despite the conflict.

It is the first trip abroad for Lavrov since Russia was isolated by the western world with biting sanctions that have also targeted the veteran minister.

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