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Vladimir Putin 'Has Agreed' To Meet President Zelenskyy In Person For Peace Talks

Vladimir Putin 'Has Agreed' To Meet President Zelenskyy In Person For Peace Talks

The Russian president is understood to have accepted that he will have to attend talks with Volodymyr Zelenskyy himself

Russia's President Vladimir Putin is understood to have finally agreed to meet Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelenskyy following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Zelenskyy has made clear his desire for a meeting with Putin and described a conversation between the two as one he is 'sure people are waiting for', but the Russian leader has so far refused.

In a video posted to Facebook on Saturday, March 19, Zelenskyy claimed talks between the two leaders was the 'only chance for Russia to minimise the damage done with their own mistakes', adding: 'This is the time to meet, to talk, time for renewing territorial integrity and fairness for Ukraine. I want to be heard by everyone, especially in Moscow. Otherwise, Russia’s losses will be such, that several generations will not recover.'

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Zelenskyy has so far engaged in talks with the leaders of the West in relation to the invasion of his country, but BBC correspondent Lyse Doucet has indicated a conversation with Putin is on the cards.

'The diplomats are talking, the negotiators are talking,' she said. 'And we understand they are making progress. And we understand President Putin has finally agreed that he will meet, at some point, President Zelenskyy who has been asking for a meeting since January.'

Speaking to BBC's Broadcasting House, Doucet said the Russian president hasn't said he agrees to a meeting 'in public', and in fact 'says quite the opposite in public', but it is understood 'there's many, many eager mediators'.

'Everyone wants the prize of saying they brought this war to an end,' she added, the Express reports. When such a conversation will take place remains unclear, but Doucet said Putin does appear to have accepted that he will need to attend negotiations himself 'at some point'.

US President Joe Biden has branded Putin a 'war criminal'.

News of Putin's potential acceptance comes after Ibrahim Kalin, a chief adviser and spokesman for Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said Putin was not ready for a meeting.

Kalin was in calls between Erdogan and Zelenskyy, and Erdogan and Putin on Thursday, March 17, and claimed that while

'Zelenskyy is ready to meet', ' Putin thinks that the positions to have this meeting at the leaders’ level are not close enough yet,' The New York Times reports.

Kalin did, however, express belief that a meeting would take place 'at some point', saying 'there will be a peace deal' and that while much of the world wants this 'to happen sooner rather than later', Putin will likely want to be 'in a position of strength' when he agrees to such a deal.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Politics, Russia, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, Volodymyr Zelensky, World News