Ukraine-Russia Talks End With Little Progress

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The third round of talks between Russia and Ukraine finished on Monday with no major advances, however, Ukrainian officials claimed that there were minor movements on safe pathways for civilians fleeing a war-torn country as reported by USA Today.

Ending hostilities 

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said without elaboration that “there were some small positive shifts regarding logistics of humanitarian corridors.”

He said that consultations will continue on ways to negotiate an end to hostilities.

Previous efforts to set up safe passage for civilians over the weekend fell apart amid continued shelling.

But the Russian Defense Ministry announced a new push Monday, saying civilians would be allowed to leave the capital of Kyiv, Mariupol and the cities of Kharkiv and Sumy.

He said no progress has been made on a political settlement, but he voiced hope that the next round could be more productive.

End of war

Some of the previously planned evacuation routes actually would funnel civilians toward Russia or its ally Belarus, a plan that Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk called unacceptably.

U.K. Europe Minister James Cleverly agreed, saying that “evacuation routes into the arms of the country that is currently destroying yours is nonsense.”

Earlier Monday, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov revealed Russia’s harsh demands to end the conflict: Ukraine halts its military activity, change its Constitution to include neutrality so it can’t join the EU or NATO, recognize Crimea as Russian territory and recognize independence for the separatist regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.

World leaders have pushed for a truce, but French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that he does not expect a negotiated end to the war in Ukraine for weeks.

“I don’t think that in the days and weeks to come there will be a true negotiated solution,” Macron said.

Latest developments:

  • The U.S. is among 48 nations whose governments have committed “unfriendly actions” against Russia, the Kremlin says. Russian citizens, companies and government bodies that owe money to those countries can pay debts in rubles, the decree says.
  • Russian banks are looking into issuing cards that operate on a Chinese payment system after American Express, Visa and Mastercard cut off services in Russia citing the invasion.
  • Italian Premier Mario Draghi expressed little hope that peace talks will result in an end to the war. Russia will continue to pound Ukraine until “the country has surrendered, probably installs a friendly government and defeats the resistance. That’s what the facts demonstrate.”
  • President Joe Biden discussed the latest developments with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson during an 80-minute teleconference, with leaders saying they were determined to continue “raising the costs on Russia for its unprovoked and unjustified” attack on Ukraine. 
  • The number of refugees who have fled Ukraine surpassed 1.7 million on Monday, and an EU official warned the number could reach 5 million.

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Source: USA Today

 

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