New Delhi, March 28: Russian and Ukrainian negotiators will resume face-to-face peace talks as soon as Monday, probing whether a near-stalemate in fighting has forced Moscow to temper its demands. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, "We are looking for peace, really, without delay." Zelenskyy even requested nations to provide Ukraine with fighter jets and tanks to defend against Russia. Meanwhile, Russia said its main focus is on taking control of the eastern Donbas region, an apparent pullback from its earlier, more expansive goals, but one which is raising fears of a divided Ukraine.

Moscow has prepared a decree on retaliatory visa measures, which provide for restrictions on the entry of citizens of “unfriendly” countries into the territory of Russia.

"Citizens of non-friendly countries are restricted from entering Russia," said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

A plane carrying members of a Russian delegation has landed in Istanbul ahead of talks with Ukrainian negotiators aimed at ending the month-long war.  Russia-Ukraine War: 12 Journalists Killed in Ukraine Since Beginning of War, Says Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova

Turkey's private DHA news agency said the Russian government plane landed at Istanbul Airport on Monday. The face-to-face talks between the two sides are scheduled to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Russia-Ukraine War: Forest Fires in Chernobyl Exclusion Zone Cover Over 10,000 Acres, Says Ukrainian Official

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that Ukraine could declare neutrality, potentially accept a compromise on contested areas in the country's east, and offer security guarantees to Russia to secure peace 'without delay.' He said only a face-to-face meeting with Russia's leader could end the war.

The mayor of Irpin, near Kyiv, said on Monday Ukrainian forces had seized back full control of the town that has been one of the main hotspots of fighting with Russian troops near the capital. “We have good news today - Irpin has been liberated," Mayor Oleksandr Markushyn said in a video post on Telegram. “We understand that there will be more attacks on our town and we will defend it courageously."

Danish brewery group Carlsberg said Monday it is pulling out of Russia, hours after its competitor, Dutch brewing giant Heineken, did the same, citing Moscow’s ongoing war against Ukraine. In a statement, the Copenhagen-based group said it had taken the difficult and immediate decision to seek a “full disposal of our business in Russia, which we believe is the right thing to do in the current environment". Carlsberg fully owns Baltika Breweries, one of the largest brewing concerns in Russia and the biggest exporter of Russian beer. The Danish brewer generates around 10% of its sales in Russia, where it has about 8,400 staff who will be laid off.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 28, 2022 09:04 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website