Scholz, Macron ask Putin for ‘serious direct negotiations’ with Zelensky
Copy to clipboard https://str.Copy to clipboard https://str.Copy to clipboard https://str.Sixth and current President of Ukraine By Pavel Polityuk and Conor Humphries KYIV (Reuters) - President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged the West to stop playing around with Russia and impose tougher sanctions on Moscow to end its "senseless war" in Ukraine, adding his country would remain independent, the only question was at what price.
sg/w2XR BERLIN (AFP, REUTERS) – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday (May 28) asked Russia’s Vladimir Putin to hold “direct serious negotiations” with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.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.He was hoping to avoid Ankara vetoing their requests to join the trans-Atlantic defence pact.Macron and Scholz urged Putin to have “serious direct negotiations with the Ukrainian president and (find) a diplomatic solution to the conflict”.Such a move requires unanimity but Hungary opposes the idea for now on the grounds its economy would suffer too much.The Kremlin cited Putin as saying “Special attention was paid to the status of the negotiations that are frozen because of Kyiv."The president underscored the need to respect the sovereign choice of these two countries, which emerged from a democratic process and in reaction to the changes in their security environment," Mr Macron's office said after a telephone call with Mr Erdogan.President Vladimir Putin confirmed the Russian side’s openness to resume dialogue,” it said.The only question is what price our people will have to pay for their freedom, and what price Russia will pay for this senseless war against us," said Zelenskiy in a late-night address on Thursday.
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.Stockholm and Helsinki submitted their bids to join Nato last week, reversing decades of military non-alignment, after political and public support for membership soared following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.But where do the people blocking this sixth package get their power from? Why are they allowed to hold such power?" he asked.“The President of the Republic and the German Chancellor asked for the release of some 2,500 defenders of Azovstal made prisoners of war by the Russian forces,” the French presidency said after the telephone call among the three leaders.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.Ankara accuses Stockholm in particular of providing a haven for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), listed as a terror group by Turkey and its Western allies.Putin told Macron and Scholz that the continuing arms supplies to Ukraine were “dangerous”, warning “of the risks of further destabilisation of the situation and aggravation of the humanitarian crisis”, the Kremlin said."Pressure on Russia is literally a matter of saving lives.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.Such an incursion risks creating new tensions between Ankara and other Nato members, with the US warning this week that its soldiers could be put in jeopardy."How many more weeks will the European Union try to agree ona sixth package?" Zelenskiy asked, noting Russia was receiving one billion euros a day from the 27-nation bloc for energy supplies.
Russia and Ukraine account for nearly a third of global wheat supplies, while Russia is also a key global fertilizer exporter and Ukraine is a major exporter of corn and sunflower oil.“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.But the Kremlin denied on Monday any blame for the halted grain deliveries, and accused Western countries of preventing cargo vessels from leaving Ukrainian ports.He also reiterated complaints that the world had so far failed to totally isolate the Russian banking system and was not providing heavy weapons quickly enough.It said Putin also informed Macron and Scholz that Russia was ready to increase its export of fertilizers and agricultural products if sanctions against it were lifted – a demand he has raised in conversations with the Italian and Austrian leaders in recent days.Ukraine and Western countries have created by its invasion of Ukraine, which has sent the prices of grains, cooking oils, fuel and fertilizer soaring.Russia has blamed the situation on Western sanctions against it, and on the.ADVANCING RUSSIAN TROOPS Russian forces attacked from three sides to try to encircle Ukrainian forces in Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk on Thursday, said Ukraine's military.
Instead of demanding the aggressor Putin Russia to exit Ukraine. These two so-called leaders meekly requesting the criminal Russia to negotiate.
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