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Russia, Ukraine ‘willing to hold talks’ in Turkey despite Bucha: Turkish official

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Russia and Ukraine are willing to move forward with talks even though images of bodies found in the Ukrainian town of Bucha have stalled the process, a Turkish official said on Friday.

“Both Russia and Ukraine are willing to hold the talks in Turkey but they are far away from agreeing on a common text,” the official said.

There are “some issues pending” including the status of the Donbas and Crimea regions as well as security guarantees, according to the official, who added there was no date fixed for the next round of negotiations.

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Turkey, which hosted talks last week between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators, has been mediating for an end to the conflict.

On March 31, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had said the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers could meet within two weeks but the images that emerged from Bucha last weekend have cast a shadow on the peace talks, according to the Turkish government.

Russia has accused Ukrainian negotiators of changing demands since the Istanbul talks, claiming that Kyiv was not interested in ending fighting.

In return, Ukraine urged Russia to show it was ready for dialogue by lowering “hostility.”

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