Putin, Zelensky to hold phone talks with Erdogan

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Putin, Zelensky to hold phone talks with Erdogan

The Turkish leader will hold separate negotiations with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold phone talks with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Asked by Russian media on Sunday whether the talks would take place, the official said the conversation was in the plans. The Turkish president had announced earlier in the day that he and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky could be in talks with Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky amid the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev.

I'm going to have phone conversations with both Russia and Ukraine on Monday. The two parties will continue to keep their channels of dialogue and diplomacy, according to Erdogan.

Turkey has taken a neutral position in the conflict that broke out in late February. Ankara has maintained ties with both Ukraine and Russia, refusing to join Western sanctions against Moscow and trying to assume the role of mediator in the conflict.

In late March, Turkey hosted high-profile Russia-Ukraine talks. Both sides indicated that certain progress had been made after the meeting, but the talks didn't yield any results. The negotiations process has been stalled, with Kiev and Moscow blamed each other for the lack of progress toward reaching a potential peace deal.

Russia attacked its neighboring country after Ukraine failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French-brokered protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself as a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied it plans to retake the two republics by force.