he Ukrainian president has said Ukraine and Russian delegations will meet for negotiations at the Ukrainian-Belarusian border.
The two sides will meet at an unspecified location, Volodymyr Zelensky’s office said.
The announcement comes hours after Russia announced that its delegation had flown to Belarus to await talks.
Ukrainian officials initially rejected the move, saying talks should not take place in Belarus where Russia has placed a large contingent of troops.
News of the meeting comes shortly after President Vladimir Putin put Russian nuclear forces on high alert in response to what he called “aggressive statements” by leading Nato powers.
Zelensky’s office said Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, a Putin ally, “has taken responsibility for ensuring that all planes, helicopters and missiles stationed on Belarusian territory remain on the ground during the Ukrainian delegation’s travel, talks and return.”
Although the two sides will meet for talks, Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba insisted the country would not surrender any land to Russia.
He said: “We go there to listen to what Russia wants to say.
“We will not surrender. We will not capitulate. We will not give up a single inch of our territory. This is not the goal of our fight.”
The talks come after Vladimir Putin instructed Russia’s military to place its nuclear deterrent forces on alert.
The Russian President cited the hard-hitting economic sanctions and aggression from the West as the reason for his action.
US ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said: “President Putin is continuing to escalate this war in a manner that is totally unacceptable.”
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss had earlier warned any use by Russia of its tactical battlefield nuclear weapons against Ukrainian forces would represent an “extremely serious escalation” of the conflict.
Fighting once again broke across Ukraine’s main cities overnight with the country’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, reporting that “more shelling” had taken place.
Terrified residents were forced to take shelter in metro stations as rocket fire was heard overheard with one bomb hitting the oil refinery in Vasylkiv, southwest of Kyiv, the town’s mayor said.
Ukraine’s army and mobilised citizen, however, have put up a staunch resistance so far, with the officials claiming 46 Russian warplanes had been downed as well as 146 tanks – this has not been verified by western sources.