Putin urged to hold ‘serious negotiations’ with Ukraine’s president Zelensky

30/5/2022 7:57:00 AM

Putin warned that western weapons deliveries to Ukraine were 'dangerous'.

Putin warned that western weapons deliveries to Ukraine were 'dangerous'.

Macron and Scholz call for immediate ceasefire after Russia claims control of key Ukrainian town

Olaf Scholz asked Mr Putin for an “immediate ceasefire and a withdrawal of Russian troops” as the assault on Ukraine’s Donbas region intensified.Copy to clipboard https://str.Copy to clipboard https://str.LinkedIn Russian President Vladimir Putin told the leaders of France and Germany in a phone call on Saturday (May 28) that Russia was willing to discuss ways to make it possible for Ukraine to resume shipments of grain from Black Sea ports, the Kremlin said.

In an 80 minute three-way phone call, the leaders also urged Mr Putin to release 2,500 Ukrainian fighters taken as prisoners of war at the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, according to a read-out from Mr Scholz’s office.The Russian president warned Mr Macron and Mr Scholz that western weapons deliveries to Ukraine were “dangerous”, according to the Kremlin.During an 80-minute conversation with the Russian President, the two European Union leaders “insisted on an immediate ceasefire and a withdrawal of Russian troops”, the German chancellor’s office said.It comes after Russia claimed to have seized control of Lyman after days of fighting over the Ukrainian town."Russia is ready to help find options for the unhindered export of grain, including the export of Ukrainian grain from the Black Sea ports," Mr Putin told French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the Kremlin said.The claimed success is believed to be key to the next phase of Moscow’s assault in the Donbas region.The Kremlin cited Putin as saying “Special attention was paid to the status of the negotiations that are frozen because of Kyiv.Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky hit back at the claims, saying in a late-night addess: “If the occupiers think that Lyman and Sievierodonetsk will be theirs, they are wrong.Russia has blamed the situation on Western sanctions against it, and on the mining of Ukrainian ports.

Donbas will be Ukrainian.The two EU leaders also asked Putin to release 2,500 Ukrainian fighters who were holed up inside the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol and who were taken prisoner by Russia.” However the UK’s Ministry of Defence said that it was “likely” that Russian forces had captured most of the town of Lyman.A satellite image shows the damaged town of Lyman, Donetsk region (Reuters) They said in an intelligence update that the success was likely “a preliminary operation for the next stage of Russia’s Donbas offensive”.Putin warned the leaders of Germany and France against ramping up arms supplies to Ukraine, saying they could further destabilise the situation in the pro-Western country.The city serves as a regional railway hub and controlling it would give the Russian military a foothold, enabling an advance on larger cities in Donetsk and Luhansk.“In the coming days, Russian units in the area are likely to prioritise forcing a crossing of the river,” the Ministry of Defence said, adding: “a bridgehead near Lyman would give Russia an advantage in the potential next phase of the Donbas offensive”.On a more positive note, Putin told the EU leaders that Russia was willing to discuss ways to make it possible for Ukraine to resume shipments of grain from Black Sea ports.

Russian defence ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said that Lyman, which had a population of around 20,000 before the invasion, had been “completely liberated”.Story continues A woman from Siversk carries her belongings during an evacuation near Lyman (AP) Fighting also continued around Sievierodonestsk and nearby Lysychansk on Saturday.“For its part, Russia is ready to help find options for the unhindered export of grain, including the export of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports,” the Kremlin said.Ukraine’s peace talks negotiator played down the prospects of reaching an agreement with Russia.Writing on Telegram, Mykhailo Podolyak said: “Any agreement with Russia isn’t worth a broken penny.Ukraine and Western countries have created by its invasion of Ukraine, which has sent the prices of grains, cooking oils, fuel and fertilizer soaring.Is it possible to negotiate with a country that always lies cynically and propagandistically?”.

He added: “Russia has proved that it is a barbarian country that threatens world security...A barbarian can only be stopped by force.” The last known face-to-face negotiations took place on 29 March.

Mr Putin told the leaders of France and Germany that Russia was willing to discuss ways for Ukraine to resume shipments of grain from Black Sea port, the Kremlin said.The village of Kolodyazi, north of Lyman (Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Tech) The grain crisis was also under discussion in Boris Johnson’s call with Mr Zelensky.Mr Johnson spoke about the “intensive work taking place” to export grain out of Ukraine and “avert a global food crisis”, Downing Street said.“He said that the UK would work with G7 partners to push for urgent progress.The leaders agreed next steps and the imperative for Russia to relax its blockade and allow safe shipping lanes,” a spokesperson said.

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