On the fifth day of the Russian military offensive against Ukrainewhile armed actions continue and Russia increasingly isolated by Western sanctions, the first meeting of negotiators from both countries held on the Belarusian-Ukrainian border showed a slight ray of hope, as both parties claimed to have found points of agreement that will allow them to sit down again in days.
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“We found some points where we can predict common positions, and the most important thing is that we agreed to continue with the negotiation process.”, the head of the Russian delegation, presidential adviser Vladimir Medinsky, told reporters.
NEW MEETING IN A FEW DAYS
The next meeting will take place in a few days on the Polish-Belarussian border. There is a corresponding agreement,” he announced. Medinsky.
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The adviser to the presidential office of UkraineMykhailo Podolyak, pointed out that in this first round of talks to discuss issues related to a ceasefire in ukraine and the cessation of hostilities “the parties have outlined some priority issues on which certain advances can be glimpsed”, in a video broadcast on Telegram.
No details have been given on these points of agreement and, after this meeting, the parties withdrew to hold consultations in their respective capitals and to be able to set the exact date for the second round.
This first day of Russian-Ukrainian negotiations coincided with a strong resurgence of the isolation to which the West is subjecting Russia and the tension between the two blocs, with the Russian ambassador to the UN repeating that the possible entry of Ukraine into NATO is a ” red line” that Moscow cannot tolerate.
The closure of European airspace to planes from Russian companies, which has led many states to ask their citizens to leave the country immediately before being trapped, prevented Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov from traveling to Geneva for two meetings of the UN.
And the heavy financial sanctions, with the exclusion of some Russian banks from the international payment system SWIFT, led to the collapse of the ruble.
THE OFFENSIVE CONTINUES
While the delegations negotiated, the hostilities did not cease on the ground. The spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, Igor Konashénkov, assured that Russia has achieved “control of the air over the entire territory of Ukraine” and reported the loss of five aircraft by Ukraine and that Russian forces destroyed eight Buk anti-aircraft missile launchers. -M1 and several radars.
“Since the beginning of the operation, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation have hit 1,114 Ukrainian military installations, 31 of them command posts and communication nodes,” he added.
The military spokesman also denied that civilians in Kiev are trapped: “We appeal to the population of Kiev. All peaceful inhabitants can freely leave the Ukrainian capital via the Kiev-Kasilkov highway. That address is open and safe,” he said, stressing that Russian troops attack only military targets.
But the adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, Anton Gerashchenko, denounced that dozens of people were killed today and hundreds were injured in a Russian missile attack on residential neighborhoods in Kharkiv, a major Ukrainian city about 35 kilometers from the border with Russia.
On his Telegram channel, he published several videos with harrowing images of dead bystanders and the impact of about fifteen missiles in a sector of the city.
In pro-Russian Donbas, in turn, in the last 12 days “twenty civilians were killed, including five today,” the Coordination and Control Center of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic said on its Telegram channel.
According to a poll released today by the official Russian Center for Public Opinion Studies (VITSOM, for its acronym in Russian), 68% of Russians support the decision to carry out Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine.
And a quarter (26%) of those surveyed consider that the objective of the operation is the defense of the Russian-speaking population of Donbas, in eastern Ukraine.
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