Both Russia and Ukraine delegations found certain points that could be agreed upon during the ceasefire talks hosted by Belarus, and will return for consultations before the next round.

Speaking to the media on Monday, the main purpose of the talks was to discuss a ceasefire in Ukraine, said Mykhailo Podolyak, advisor to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The two sides have identified a number of priority topics, on which "certain solutions have been outlined", he added.

Russia-Ukraine crisis

The two delegations found points on which common positions could be reached, confirmed Vladimir Medinsky, aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, RT reported.

Monday's talks, which lasted for nearly five hours, took place in Belarus near the Russian and the Ukrainian borders. The next round will take place on the border between Belarus and Poland in the coming days, Medinsky said.

Ukraine's delegation was led by Defence Minister Alexey Reznikov, and its main demand was an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of all Russian troops from the country.

Zelensky said on Sunday that he didn't really believe the negotiations would succeed, but thought they held "a chance, however small, to de-escalate the situation."

Ukraine signs formal request to join EU

While the talks were ongoing, Zelensky sent a formal request for Ukraine's EU membership to Brussels.

Deputy Head of the President's Office, Andriy Sybiga, said that Zelenskyy has just signed a historically significant document: Ukraine's European Union membership application, Ukrainska Pravda reported.

He also signed a joint request with the head of the Verkhovna Rada [Parliament] of Ukraine and Prime Minister Dmytro Shmygal.

Ukraine says ready for talks with Russia to achieve peace

The documents are already on their way to Brussels.

Zelenskyy said: "I have signed Ukraine's European Union membership application. I am sure that we can achieve this."

According to EU procedure, the membership application has to be submitted to the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Council is currently headed by France.

Ukraine's application may be important for Zelenskyy, given that this issue could potentially be used in the talks with Russia, because the European Union is a project built around peace and using dialogue to resolve conflict, Ukrainska Pravd reported.

On Monday morning, Zelenskyy addressed the European Union regarding Ukraine's accession under a special procedure. According to Zelenskyy, Ukrainians deserve EU membership.

After Russia's invasion, several EU countries called upon the EU to give Ukraine a pathway to membership, and Slovakia proposed a special procedure for Ukraine's accession to the EU.

Meanwhile, Russia has put its nuclear deterrent forces on highest alert amid NATO moves to send weapons to Kiev.

(With inputs from IANS)