Zelensky in Moscow: “It’s time to meet”
KYIV – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is again calling for talks with Moscow, saying they are Russia’s “only chance to minimize the damage caused by its own mistakes” after the invasion.
The two sides are currently conducting remote negotiations but so far, like previous rounds, they have made little progress. None have been at the presidential level.
“It’s time to meet, to talk, time to renew territorial integrity and fairness for Ukraine,” Zelensky said in a video posted on Facebook.
“Otherwise, Russia’s losses will be such that several generations will not recover.”
Zelensky also said Ukrainian authorities were able to rescue more than 9,000 people from the port city of Mariupol, besieged by Russian forces.
There was still no information on how many people died when a theater in the city housing civilians was bombed, he said.
More than 180,000 Ukrainian citizens have been rescued through humanitarian corridors across the country, Zelensky says.
He accuses Russian forces of blocking aid around sensitive areas, saying “they have a strict order to do everything, so the humanitarian disaster in Ukrainian cities has become a reason for Ukrainians to work with the occupiers. “.
“It’s a war crime!” he adds.
Several rounds of negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow have taken place both in person and virtually since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24.
The latest round of talks, the fourth, opened on Monday.
Russia’s chief negotiator said on Friday that Moscow and Kyiv had brought their positions “as closely as possible” closer together on a proposal to make Ukraine a neutral state.
But Mikhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Zelensky involved in the talks, said his country’s position had not budged.
“Trading status. The statements of the Russian side are only their demand positions,” he wrote on Twitter.