Russia must reduce its attacks in the Kyiv and Chernihiv regions, a senior Defense Ministry official said on Tuesday, following a round of peace talks with Ukraine in Istanbul.

The decision was taken as “negotiations on the preparation of an agreement on the neutrality and non-nuclear status of Ukraine, as well as the provision of security guarantees for Ukraine, enter a practical phase” , Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said in a video. shared by Russian state media.

The Defense Ministry “decided to drastically reduce military activities in the Kyiv and Chernihiv directions”, Fomin said, in order “to increase mutual trust and create the necessary conditions for future negotiations”.

Chernihiv is a city located about 150 km northeast of kyiv.

More details will be available after the delegation returns to Moscow, he added.

The leadership of the Russian armed forces said last week that Moscow was entering a “new phase” of the war. They will focus on eastern Ukraine, in the breakaway republics of Lugansk and Donetsk and in the port city of Mariupol, members of the general staff said on Friday.

Turkey has meanwhile confirmed that the Istanbul talks will end on Tuesday but will continue online. The round in Turkey was originally scheduled to take place over two days.

Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, said holding the meeting in Istanbul “shows the trust both sides have in Turkey”.

“We are delighted to see that the teams are getting closer every step of the way,” Cavusoglu said.

“A compromise and mutual perspective has been achieved on some issues,” he added, with Tuesday’s talks showing the “most significant progress” to date.

“The tougher issues will be dealt with at higher levels,” he added.