Talks between the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers produced no apparent progress towards a ceasefire but analysts said the fact they were even meeting left a window open for ending Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Moscow’s position – at least rhetorically — has appeared to soften in recent days, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying the war could stop "in a moment" if Kyiv agreed to a list of demands that has appeared to narrow since the start of the war.

Analysts said the road ahead for any negotiation would be difficult, but Moscow’s slower than expected military progress and the stinging cost of economic sanctions imposed by a united West had potentially opened an opportunity for a compromise.

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