Russia demands annexations recognised before talks

President Putin illegally annexed 4 areas of Ukraine on the finish of September whereas Russian forces had been on the again foot

Russia says the West’s refusal to recognise “new territories” seized from Ukraine makes peace talks more durable, after President Joe Biden indicated he can be prepared to satisfy Vladimir Putin.

The Kremlin stated it was open to negotiations, however not on the West’s demand to drag out of Ukraine.

Russia illegally annexed 4 Ukrainian areas on the finish of September, with out controlling any of them.

9 months into its invasion, it has misplaced greater than half the land it seized.

President Biden informed reporters on Thursday night time that he was prepared to satisfy the Russian chief “if in reality there may be an curiosity in him deciding that he is in search of a option to finish the conflict”.

Standing beside him within the White Home, France’s Emmanuel Macron made clear the 2 males had agreed they’d by no means urge the Ukrainians to make a compromise “that won’t be acceptable for them”.

The obvious flurry of diplomatic exercise adopted months with little signal of enthusiasm for talks. Russia’s navy has been pressured right into a retreat in southern Ukraine whereas launching widespread assaults on civilian infrastructure.

On Friday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz spoke to President Putin for the primary time since September. Throughout the hour-long name, Berlin stated the German chief had urged his counterpart to discover a diplomatic resolution that concerned pulling Russian troops out of Ukraine “as quickly as attainable”.

The Kremlin stated the German facet had pushed for the decision, and Mr Putin had urged Berlin to “rethink its approaches within the context of the Ukrainian occasions”. President Putin had drawn consideration to the “damaging line of Western states together with Germany” and Kyiv utterly rejected the concept of talks, the Kremlin added.

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Spokesman Dmitry Peskov informed reporters earlier that Mr Putin remained open to talks aimed “to make sure our pursuits”. However Moscow was actually not prepared to just accept US circumstances: “What did President Biden say in reality? He stated that negotiations are attainable solely after Putin leaves Ukraine.”

It sophisticated the seek for a mutual foundation for talks, he stated, that the US didn’t recognise “new territories” in Ukraine. On the finish of September, President Putin declared 4 Ukrainian areas as a part of Russia, however whereas Russian forces in jap Ukraine occupy most of Luhansk, their invasion of Donetsk has stalled and they’re on the again foot in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia within the south.

Forward of Friday’s Scholz-Putin name, Russian International Minister Sergei Lavrov complained that European nations had supplied nothing concrete thus far when it comes to mediation.

“Macron, by the best way, has been usually stating during the last two weeks that he was planning a dialog with the Russian president,” he was quoted as saying, whereas including that Russia had not had any indicators by way of diplomatic channels.

Mr Lavrov named former US Secretary of State John Kerry because the sort of determine who had prior to now been capable of resolve issues and interact in true dialogue.

Italian International Minister Antonio Tajani stated on Friday that the time had come to work for a simply peace for Ukraine, nevertheless it needed to come by means of independence for Kyiv and never its give up. “The Kremlin should now give concrete indicators as a substitute of bombing the inhabitants,” he informed La Repubblica newspaper.

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Turkey’s International Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, stated “earlier than subsequent spring” a clearer image would emerge of how a truce or ceasefire could be established. However he stated the state of affairs on the bottom had made the duty extra sophisticated.

The Archbishop of Canterbury visited a bombed bridge in Irpin as well as the site of a mass grave of civilians

The Archbishop of Canterbury visited a bombed bridge in Irpin in addition to the location of a mass grave of civilians

In the meantime, on a go to to Ukraine, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, stated there could possibly be no peace till Russia stopped mendacity about what it was doing in Ukraine.

Talking in Bucha, the place Russian troops are accused of committing conflict crimes within the bloodbath of a whole bunch of civilians, he stated: “There might be no approach ahead primarily based on lies. There have been atrocities dedicated right here.”

A senior Ukrainian official stated earlier that between 10,000 and 13,000 of its troopers had been killed because the begin of Russia’s invasion on 24 February.

Neither Ukraine nor Russia are inclined to launch figures for casualties, and the remarks by presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak haven’t been confirmed by the Ukrainian navy.

Final month, probably the most senior US common, Mark Milley, stated round 100,000 Russian and 100,000 Ukrainian troopers had been killed or wounded because the begin of the conflict.

Talking to Ukrainian TV outlet Channel 24, Mr Podolyak stated Kyiv was “brazenly speaking concerning the variety of the killed”. He added that the variety of civilians killed could possibly be “vital”. He additionally prompt that as much as 100,000 Russian troopers had been killed because the invasion.

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In a video tackle on Wednesday, EU Fee head Ursula von der Leyen stated that 100,000 Ukrainian troops had been killed. Nonetheless a spokesperson for the EU Fee later clarified that this was a mistake, and the determine referred to these each killed and wounded. Ms von der Leyen had additionally spoken of 20,000 Ukrainian civilian deaths.

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Extra reporting by Elsa Maishman and Jaroslav Lukiv