By Reuters, published by Haaretz.com and US News and World Report
RUSSIA is ready to send a delegation to the Belarusian capital Minsk for talks with Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said today (Feb. 25), a day after Moscow launched a massive invasion of its southern neighbour.
Peskov told Russian news agencies Russia was willing to send a delegation including foreign and defence ministry officials to Minsk for the talks.
Ukraine has said it is willing to discuss declaring itself a neutral county. Peskov said demilitarization would need to be an essential part of that.
Russian President Vladimir Putin also told his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in a call today that Russia is willing to hold high-level talks with Ukraine, China’s foreign ministry said.
China has refused to call Russia’s action in Ukraine an “invasion” or criticise Moscow despite intensifying assaults from Russia’s military.
Putin told Xi that the United States and Nato had long ignored Russia’s legitimate security concerns, repeatedly reneged on their commitments, and continued to expand military deployment eastward, challenging Russia’s strategic bottom line, according to a statement on the Chinese foreign ministry website.
Russia is willing to conduct high-level negotiations with Ukraine, Putin was cited as saying.
China has repeatedly called for the crisis to be resolved through dialogue.
China supports Russia and Ukraine in resolving the issue through negotiation, Xi told Putin, according to the ministry.
Xi also called for all sides to abandon a Cold War mentality, respect the legitimate security concerns of all countries, and form a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism through negotiation, according to the statement.
Xi said China respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, according to the statement.
Top: A residential building is damaged after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, in Kyiv, on Friday. Photo: Umit Bektas/Reuters and published by Haaretz.com
Home Page: Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, China on Feb, 4, 2022. Photo: Sputnik/Aleksey Druzhinin/Kremlin via Reuters and published by US News and World Report
(Reporting by Yew Lun Tian and Martin Quin Pollard; editing by John Stonestreet)