© Ukrainian Presidency/Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesUkraine President Volodymyr Zelensky announcing upcoming peace talks
Ukraine has agreed to meet Russian officials for peace talks, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced Sunday — before quickly admitting he expects any discussions to prove futile.

A top Ukraine official adding that the talks are set for Monday. Zelensky said in a statement:
"We agreed that the Ukrainian delegation would meet with the Russian delegation without preconditions on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, near the Pripyat River."
But within hours of making the announcement, Ukraine's defiant president openly questioned the chances of success in his latest video address.
"I do not really believe in the outcome of this meeting, but let them try. So that later not a single citizen of Ukraine has any doubt that I, as president, tried to stop the war, when there was even a small, but still a chance."
He was not alone in his pessimism.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told reporters Sunday that it would be "very good news" if Putin genuinely wanted to negotiate.
But "I have my doubts. There is nothing I've seen so far in his behavior that leads me to think that he could possibly be sincere. ... But if he is, then we should pursue every avenue."
The US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield told CNN's State of the Union:
"We've always indicated that we wanted to find a diplomatic solution, and Russia chose confrontation. This diplomatic effort is one more effort to bring the Russians to the negotiating table."
The planned talks — which Ukraine's ambassador to the US told CNN were set for Monday — came after Zelensky said he had an encouraging discussion with Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, one of the Kremlin's main allies and one of the nation's from where Russian troops swept in from Thursday.

Lukashenko promised that "all planes, helicopters and missiles stationed on Belarusian territory remain on the ground during the Ukrainian delegation's travel, talks and return."

Belarusian state television has said the peace talks would occur at a Aleksandrovka and Vilcha border checkpoint. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his delegation is already in Belarus.

Ukraine's ambassador to the US, Oksana Markarova, stressed that Zelensky would "definitely not" be there in person.

"President Zelensky made a decision to defend the country," she said of the leader who acknowledged he was likely Russia's No. 1 target. "So he's in Kyiv, with the armed forces, with people with Ukraine, defending the country," she said.
Putin, Shoigu, Gerasimov
© Alexei Nikolsky/TASS/Getty ImagesRussian President Vladimir Putin meets with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov at the Kremlin.
She noted that it is hard to deduce how seriously Putin is taking any peace talks given that he launched and is continuing his "full-fledged war" against Ukraine. Putin on Sunday also ordered Russian nuclear forces to be put on high alert over unfounded claims of NATO threats.

Markarova told CNN:
"There is an ongoing, full-fledged war with war crimes conducted by Russians in Ukraine on a daily basis. So how genuine is this proposal? We don't know. We are ready for peace talks, but we are not ready to surrender. We will defend our country — and we will win."