Putin Ready To Send Team To Hold Talks With Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin is ready to send a delegation of high-ranking officials to Minsk to hold talks with Kiev, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Friday.

Putin also confirmed talks in Minsk in a phone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping. “Russia is ready to negotiate with Ukraine at a high level,” Putin said, cited by Sputnik News Agency.

Meanwhile, Beijing supported the settlement of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine through dialogue, the Chinese President said.

“Recently, the situation in eastern Ukraine has been changing rapidly, which has attracted increased attention from the international community… China supports the settlement of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine through negotiations,” Xi was quoted as saying by the CCTV.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had said earlier in the day that Moscow is ready for negotiations on Kiev at any moment.

“We are ready for negotiations. At any moment, as soon as the armed forces of Ukraine respond to the call of our president (Vladimir Putin), stop resisting and lay down their arms. No one is going to attack them, no one is going to oppress them, let them return to their families,” Lavrov said.

A number of explosions were heard in the capital city of Ukraine as the Russian special military operation entered the second day, local media reported.

“The Russian Armed Forces are not targeting Ukrainian cities in the special military operation, but putting the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ infrastructure out of operation,” said Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

“Measures will be taken to ensure the safety of UN and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) missions’ staff in Ukraine,” she added.

“For 8 years, we have tried to encourage the authorities in Kiev to stop the punitive operation against its own people and settle the conflict in Donbas by peaceful, political and diplomatic means. Unfortunately, they simply ignored us,” said Zakharova in a tweet.

She said that Ukrainian authorities made no bones of violating their own Constitution and laws and adopted discriminatory laws on language, education and indigenous peoples.

“On February 24, @MFA_Ukraine notified us that it had cut diplomatic ties with Russia. We regret that the Kiev regime has chosen the path of severing its ties with Russia and everything Russian. We do hope that history will soon set everything straight,” tweeted Zakharova.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized Ukraine’s breakaway regions – Donetsk and Luhansk – as independent entities. Later, Putin ordered special military operations “to protect” the people in the Donbas region.

Several countries including the UK, the US, Canada, and the European Union have condemned Russia’s military operations and imposed sanctions on Moscow.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden on Thursday said that the US will introduce a new wave of sanctions against Russia in a broad effort to isolate Moscow from the global economy.

The new package of sanctions aims to cut Russia off from the US financial markets and includes freezing the assets of four major Russian banks, including VTB Bank, the nation’s second-biggest bank. (ANI)

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