Russia's foreign minister Lavrov to hold talks with Ukrainian counterpart in Turkey

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (left) will have talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in Turkey. PHOTOS: RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY/REUTERS, AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday (March 9) travels to Turkey where he will have talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba, the TASS news agency cited the Russian foreign ministry as saying.

The visit comes as Russia said it is ready to provide humanitarian corridors on Wednesday for people fleeing Kyiv and four other Ukrainian cities, as the number of refugees created by the biggest assault on a European country since World War Two surpassed 2 million.

Mikhail Mizintsev, head of Russia's National Defence Control Centre, was quoted as saying by the Tass news agency that Russian forces would "observe a regime of silence" from 10am Moscow time (3pm Singapore time) to ensure safe passage for civilians wishing to leave Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv and Mariupol.

It was unclear if the proposed routes would pass through Russia or Belarus, conditions previously opposed by the Ukrainian government.

Mr Lavrov's shuttle diplomacy is also occurring after the United States banned imports of Russian oil in a major new step in the Western-led effort to halt the war by crippling Russia's economy, sparking a further increase in the oil price.

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