After initially rejecting Russia’s offer for peace talks as it was to be held in neighboring country Belarus, a known political and military ally of the Kremlin, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has now accepted the negotiations on the basis that the meeting would take place along the Prypyat River, four days after the initial Russian advance into Ukrainian soil.

Previously, Zelensky had rejected the initial offer of negotiations in Gomel, Belarus (a city about 175 miles north of Kyiv) as the country was used as one of the staging grounds for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. However, he did express that he was all for a diplomatic solution and peace negotiations, provided they would be held in Warsaw, Bratislava, Istanbul, Budapest, or Baku.

“We offered all of these to the Russian side, and we will accept any other city and country that hasn’t been used to for launching missiles at us,” said the Ukrainian President.

This request materialized when Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko had contacted Zelensky for Ukrainian-Russian delegations to be sent to meet near the Pripyat River for peace talks, without any conditions as the Ukrainian President emphasized.

“I’ll say frankly, like always, I don’t believe that much in the result of this meeting but let them try so that not a single citizen of Ukraine has any doubt left that I, as President, used every chance to stop the war, even a small one,” Zelensky told the public through a video message.

These statements come after the Russians have reportedly sent their delegation to Gomel in Belarus for peace talks last Sunday. Russian spokesperson Dmitry Peskov reported that the delegation included military officials and diplomats, stating, “The Russian delegation is ready for talks, and we are now waiting for the Ukrainians.”

In an effort to persuade the Ukrainian side of accepting the peace talk deal, Lukashenko had assured Zelensky that “all planes, helicopters, and missiles stationed on Belarusian territory remain on the ground during the Ukrainian delegation’s travel, talks and return,” according to NPR’s London Correspondent Frank Langfitt on Twitter, as Belarus had been implicated in launching missiles to assist the Russian forces.

However, despite agreeing to the peace talks, Zelensky, through his adviser Mykhailo Podolyak stated that Ukraine only wants real negotiations without ultimatums. In his own capacity, he thought that Russia’s move by sending delegates to Gomel was ‘propaganda.’