Ankara, Moscow, Kyiv (agencies)
Yesterday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced his country’s readiness in principle to play the role of a guarantor of Ukraine’s security, but he said, referring to his bid again to present an offer to host talks between Ukrainian Presidents Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian Vladimir Putin: “The details necessary for the success of such a formula must be defined.”
Erdogan, whose country, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), has a maritime border with Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea, and has good relations with the two countries, said, “During the round of talks that took place in Istanbul, Ukraine presented a written proposal to Russia to end the war, which constitutes an important boost.” . “On the issue of guarantee, we can be one of the guarantors of Ukraine’s security, and we are ready for that in principle, but of course the details of this matter must be defined,” he added.
This came at a time when the Kremlin announced the absence of any specific timetable for a possible summit meeting between Putin and Zelensky, and Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow’s position on the possibility of holding this summit remains firm, which is the formulation of the text of an agreement that allows for an end to hostilities. , coordinated and signed by high-ranking officials, and only after that can we talk about a higher-level meeting.” Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed that it had received a signal from Ankara about the possibility of organizing a new meeting between the Ukrainian Foreign Ministers, Dmitry Kuleba and Russian Sergei Lavrov, who confirmed that the last round of negotiations in Istanbul recorded positive progress, but did not achieve a final result.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu had said that it is likely that Lavrov and Kuleba will meet within a week or two, and added, “The important thing is for the two sides to meet and agree on a permanent ceasefire,” noting that Turkey would like to host a meeting of the two foreign ministers in its capacity as an honest mediator. “The most important progress so far has been made in the Istanbul talks… Is it all over?” he added. No.. some steps have been taken to ease the tension, even if we don’t see that often on the ground.”
For his part, the head of the Ukrainian negotiating delegation, David Arachmia, said that peace talks between his country and Russia will continue online today, Friday. He praised the presence of the Russian envoy, Roman Abramovich, in the Istanbul round of negotiations, and said that he played a positive role, as he provided an informal channel of communication that allowed some discussions in the normal language and not in the diplomatic language. He added that Ukraine stressed the need for a meeting between the presidents of the two countries, but Russia responded, saying that more work was needed on a draft treaty.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that peace talks are continuing but at the moment there is only talk, nothing concrete. He questioned Russia’s pledges to reduce its military operations, noting that his forces were preparing to fight new battles in the Donbass region, adding, “We will not give up anything.” We will fight for every inch of our land.”
The commander of the 92nd Brigade of the Ukrainian forces announced that the situation is stable in Kharkiv (northeast), but the Russian army is regrouping its forces to attack in the east and south of the country. The Ukrainian army has regained control of a strategic highway linking Kharkiv with Shuhuev. At a time, a senior official in the US Department of Defense (Pentagon) warned that the focus of Russian war efforts on Donbass heralds a protracted conflict.
The governor of the Dnipro region said that Russian missiles hit a military unit and a fuel depot in the area, killing two people. The Ukrainian government has sent a convoy of 45 buses to the besieged coastal Mariupol in the hope of evacuating still-stranded civilians. The International Committee of the Red Cross announced that it is preparing to facilitate the safe evacuation of civilians from the city, starting Friday, provided that all parties agree to the terms.
On the other hand, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that Russian forces are continuing their operations in eastern Ukraine, and have taken control of the Zolota Neva region, southwest of Donetsk. He added that the warplanes destroyed 52 Ukrainian military facilities, anti-missile defense systems and 18 drones.
Some 40,000 Ukrainian refugees were added yesterday to the more than four million who have fled their country since the offensive ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, an exodus described by the United Nations as a “major humanitarian crisis”. “We are facing the reality of a major humanitarian crisis that is getting worse every second,” the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said.
More than ten million people, more than a quarter of the population, have been forced to leave their homes either by crossing borders to seek refuge in neighboring countries or by seeking another safe haven in Ukraine. The United Nations estimates the number of internally displaced people at about 6.5 million. The UNHCR counted 4,059,105 Ukrainian refugees on its website dedicated to this crisis.
Since February 24, 2,362,044 refugees have entered Poland, according to UNHCR statistics as of March 30. Romania received 616,592 people, Moldova 388,837 people, Hungary 368,807 Ukrainians, Slovakia 283,824 people, Spain 30,000 refugees, and Germany 288,000 refugees.
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