Turkey’s foreign minister arrived in Moscow late on Tuesday for talks with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu was due to sit down with Lavrov hours after Ukraine’s president said he was more upbeat about an agreement with Russia to end the war.
“We are in Moscow to continue our diplomatic efforts to find a solution to the Ukraine crisis,” Çavuşoğlu said on Twitter. The two ministers were set to hold a press conference following the talks.
Late last night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky indicated that there had been progress in peace talks with Russia following Tuesday’s round of negotiations.
“The positions in the negotiations already sound more realistic,” he said in a video address. “Time is still needed for the decisions to be in the interests of Ukraine.”
Negotiations between Ukrainian and Russian officials were due to continue via video conference later on Wednesday.
“The ministers will exchange views on the current state of affairs in the intra-Ukrainian crisis,” Lavrov’s office said.
Çavuşoğlu will also visit Ukraine for talks, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said after a cabinet meeting in Ankara on Tuesday.
Turkey is a NATO member, but it is attempting to maintain the good relations that it has fostered with Moscow in recent years. It is among countries seeking to act as a mediator to end the war in Ukraine.
Last week, Çavuşoğlu hosted a meeting between Lavrov and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on the sidelines of a diplomacy forum in the resort city of Antalya. On Monday, he spoke with the two ministers separately by telephone.
(This story was updated with Russia statement in the seventh paragraph.)