Russia’s negotiating position in talks with Ukraine is becoming “more realistic,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Wednesday.
Speaking in a televised message, Zelensky stressed the need for his country to "keep fighting," but struck a more positive note on negotiations.
"The meetings are ongoing, as I am told the positions are sounding more realistic," he said.
Zelensky emphasized the importance of persevering with the talks as "any war must end in agreement," but added that "we need more time to achieve decisions that serve the interests of Ukraine."
Talks between the two countries are set to pick up again on Wednesday after winding down on Tuesday evening, according to the Ukrainian delegation.
However, Vladimir Medinsky, the head of the Russian negotiating delegation, said the country's objectives in negotiations with Ukraine have not changed since talks between the two sides began.
Medinsky, a presidential aide, said Moscow wants a “peaceful, free, independent and neutral” Ukraine, as quoted by state media RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
"The goal of Russia in these negotiations is exactly the same as the goal of Russia which was set at the very beginning of the special military operation,” he said.
“We need a peaceful, free, independent Ukraine, neutral -- not a member of military blocs, not a member of NATO. A country that is our friend, a neighbor, with whom we are developing relations together, building our future, and which is not a base for military and economic attacks against our country."
Medinsky added that the Russia-Ukraine talks are ongoing, but are “difficult” and “slow.”
"Of course, we would like it all to happen much faster, this is such a sincere desire of the Russian side. We want to come to peace as soon as possible," he said.