LAST UPDATE: 14.17
Ukrainian President Zelensky calls on Putin’s Russian counterpart to sit down at the negotiating table. The above is reported by the Russian agency Ria, as broadcast by Reuters.
“I want to appeal to the President of the Russian Federation once again […] “Let’s sit down at the negotiating table to stop the deaths,” Zelensky said in a video message posted on his Telegram channel, according to Sputnik.
Zelensky also called on Europe to act more swiftly and decisively in imposing sanctions on Moscow for invading Ukraine, accusing its Western allies of politicizing as Moscow’s military forces move toward Kiev.
“Europe has enough power to stop this attack,” he said, adding that everything from banning Russians from entering the European Union to a SWIFT embargo and an oil embargo should be on the table.
“You can still stop this attack. You have to act fast,” he said.
He also called on European citizens to demonstrate in order to force their governments to take more decisive action. He characteristically stated that the Russian attack is like a repetition of World War II.
The Ukrainian president called on Europeans with war experience to go to Ukraine to repel the invasion of the Russian army. “If you have experience in battle (…) you can come to our country to defend Europe,” said Volodymyr Zelensky.
It is recalled that in the early hours of the morning in a videotaped speech broadcast by the Ukrainian media, Zelensky said, among other things: “We heard from Moscow today that they want to talk about the neutral regime in Ukraine.” “We are not afraid of Russia, we are not afraid to engage in talks with Russia, we are not afraid to discuss anything, such as security guarantees for our state, we are not afraid to talk about a neutral regime.”
Earlier, an adviser to Ukrainian President Mikhail Pontoliak told Reuters that Ukraine wanted peace and was ready for talks with Russia, including on a request for a NATO-neutral status. “If possible, talks should take place. If Moscow says it wants to hold talks, including on a neutral regime, we are not afraid,” he said in a text message. “We can talk about that too.”
“Our readiness for dialogue is part of our persistent pursuit of peace.”
Lavrov: Stop fighting to talk
Earlier, the Russian minister rejected the statements of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has indicated that he is ready to discuss a state of neutrality for his country and added that Moscow is ready for talks as soon as the Ukrainian army stops fighting.