KYIV | Russian and Ukrainian diplomatic leaders did not agree to a ceasefire in Ukraine on Thursday, their first meeting since the start of the Russian military offensive, with tanks advancing on the gates of the capital, Kiev.
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba held their guns during the meeting, which was held after February 24. It was a popular resort in Turkey under the auspices of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. Russian tourists.
“We talked about a ceasefire, but no progress has been made in this direction,” he said. Guleba told reporters, however, that he “hopes” that he will be able to continue the debate with his opponent.
“Ukraine will not surrender”
Mr. According to Guleba, Sergei Lavrov assured him that Russia would “continue (its) occupation until we accept the demand for surrender.”
But he stressed to reporters that “Ukraine has not surrendered, will not surrender, will not surrender.”
For his part, Mr. Lavrov said Russia would like to continue the dialogue with Ukraine, but considered the “Russian-Ukrainian model in Belarus” as “no substitute” for low-level representation.
Since the start of the invasion, three sessions of talks have already taken place between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators in Belarus, a country friendly to Russia. They opened several local ceasefires and humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians from besieged cities.
But Russia has been repeatedly accused of violating these agreements.
“We do not plan to attack other countries, we do not attack Ukraine,” Lavrov said.
The Turkish diplomat, who took his place between the two ministers of the warring countries at the end of a large U-shaped table, admitted that no one expected a “miracle” at the meeting, but said he believed it. Organization of the summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zhelensky.
At the same time, French and German leaders Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholes, Mr. In a telephone interview with Putin, he stressed that “any solution to this crisis must go through negotiations between Ukraine and Russia” and called for an “immediate ceasefire”. To a German government source.
Currently, the Russian military is besieging its main cities and maintaining a bombing campaign, similar to the one that struck a children’s hospital on Wednesday, a strategic port surrounded by Russia in the Sea of Azov (southeast). Forces for nine days.
Three people, including a woman, died there, the townhall said in a new report Thursday, which said 17 people had been injured the previous day. A fourth person was killed in a raid in the city on Thursday morning.
‘Terrible war crime’
The attack sparked a wave of international condemnation: the “heinous war crime” against the EU, the “barbaric” use of force against civilians by the White House, and the “immoral” act of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
A member of the Ukrainian military administration in the region said women were being delivered at a hospital at the time of the bombing.
“This maternity ward was taken over by the Azov battalion and other extremists a long time ago and all the women in labor, all the nurses and all the paramedics were evacuated,” he said. Lavrov said.
On the whole, from the beginning of the invasion, In Ukraine 71 children were killed and more than 100 were injuredThe head of the human rights body in the Ukrainian parliament Lyudmila Denisova said in a telegram on Tuesday.
According to Ukrainian civil servants, Russian forces are continuing their “offensive operation” to encircle Kiev, while in other areas Izium, Petrovske, Hrouchouvakha, Sumy, Okhtyrka or Donetsk and Zaparojie regions.
Russian tanks arrived on the northeastern edge of the capital on Thursday, already reaching its northern and western suburbs.
Before an AFP team could enter the northeastern city of Kiev, it saw smoke billowing from the village of Skype, a few hundred meters from the last checkpoint of Ukrainian forces.
Towards the end of the morning, Russian grenade launchers rained down on the deserted village of Velica Dimerka, about five kilometers from the capital, some about twenty meters from the AFP crew. .
Half the population of the Kiev mobilization has been evacuated since the start of the Russian invasion two weeks ago, and its mayor Vitaly Klitschko announced, “Now there are less than two million people.
Humanitarian corridors reopened on Thursday, allowing civilians to be evacuated from areas severely affected by the fighting, which forced residents of several major cities to sometimes hide in cellars.
The long convoy of buses was heading northwest of Kiev in the morning, where authorities were arranging to evacuate people stranded in Irfin and Bautza.
More than 60,000 Ukrainians were evacuated from besieged cities on Wednesday, Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video on Thursday.
On Wednesday evening, the House of Representatives approved a new US federal budget, with an envelope of nearly $ 14 billion for the Ukrainian crisis, which must now be voted on in the Senate.
The IMF on Wednesday approved $ 1.4 billion in emergency aid to Ukraine.
Washington, on the other hand, has flatly rejected Poland’s proposal to supply its Mig-29 aircraft to the US military, which could be handed over to Ukraine, considering Warsaw’s offer as “dangerous” and likely to expand.
From the beginning, the Americans and their allies worked to help Ukraine, avoiding the direct intervention of NATO member states.
From Warsaw, US Vice President Kamala Harris said that with this crisis, NATO has become “stronger” and Russia “weaker”.
Russia’s Defense Ministry on Thursday accused the United States of funding a biological weapons program in Ukraine.
In Turkey, Mr. Lavrov ruled that the supply of weapons to Ukraine by Western nations was “dangerous,” especially in the case of surface-to-air missiles.
On behalf of the European Union, the heads of state and heads of state of the 27 member states will discuss on Thursday and Friday in Versailles, near Paris, the economic and security challenges posed by the war in Europe and Ukraine.
After two weeks of conflict, Western sanctions continue to fall on Russia, including the suspension of Chelsea’s football club sales, including the freezing of the assets of seven Russian oligarchs, including Roman Abramovich, in the United Kingdom.
The list of foreign companies that sever all or part of relations with Russia goes on and on. Recently, Sony and Nintendo announced that they would suspend their exports to Russia.
To deal with this, Moscow has previously banned the export of certain goods and equipment imported into the country.