Al Jazeera reported today that Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said peace talks with Russia were beginning to sound “more realistic” but that more time was needed to ensure the outcome of the negotiations were in Kiev’s interests.

Zelenskyy’s comments early on Wednesday reportedly came as Russia’s so-called special military operation in Ukraine neared the three-week mark.  

Negotiators from the two countries have been meeting via video link since Monday, with the Ukrainian delegation pressing for a ceasefire, troop withdrawals and security guarantees, Al-Jazeera says, noting that Russia is yet to capture any of Ukraine’s 10 biggest cities, and officials in Kiev have raised hopes the war could end sooner than expected, possibly by May.

They reportedly say Moscow may be coming to terms with its failure to impose a new government by force and is running out of fresh troops.

The two sides are expected to speak again today. 

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, however, said it was too early to predict progress in the talks.

“The work is difficult, and in the current situation the very fact that (the talks) are continuing is probably positive,” he said.

Russia launched its special military operation on February 24 to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine.

Media reports say the conflict has killed and wounded thousands of people and sent three million Ukrainians fleeing into neighboring countries.