Zelenskyy holding talks with Turkish president, UN chief

(From left to right) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres shake hands at the end of their press conference following the talks in western Ukrainian city of Lviv on August 18, 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday discussed prospects for ending the Russia-Ukraine conflict with visiting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Ukrainian government-run Ukrinform news agency reported.

At a joint press conference after their meeting in Ukraine’s western city of Lviv, Zelensky said that Kiev is ready for peace talks with Moscow only after the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.

For his part, Erdogan said Türkiye will provide all necessary support to resume negotiations to end the conflict.

The peace talks between Ukraine and Russia could be based on the agreements achieved in March in Istanbul, Erdogan said, adding that Türkiye is ready to be a mediator in the negotiations.

During the press conference, Guterres called for demilitarization at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine. The plant, one of the biggest nuclear power plants in Europe, has been under the control of Russian military forces since early March.

“Military equipment and personnel must be withdrawn from the plant. Further deployment of forces or weapons at the facility must be avoided,” Guterres added.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict started on February 24.

Ukrainian and Russian negotiators held the latest round of face-to-face peace talks in Istanbul, Türkiye, on March 29.