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Moscow, Kyiv sound more realistic after 5th round of talks

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Firefighters work to put out a fire in a residential apartment building after it was hit by shelling in Kyiv.

RUSSIA,UKRAINE: As the fifth round of peace talks concluded between Russia and Ukraine on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said early Wednesday that the position of both countries sounded more realistic but more time was required.

“The meetings continue, and, I am informed, the positions during the negotiations already sound more realistic. But time is still needed for the decisions to be in the interests of Ukraine,” Zelensky said in a video message. He will address the US Congress later on Wednesday as he seeks help to stop the Russian invasion.

Meanwhile, Russia on Tuesday slapped sanctions on US President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and a several other senior officials. Moscow said it had put the top officials on a “stop list” that barred their entry into Russia.

Among other officials named in the list of 13 were Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, CIA Chief William Burns, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others.

The United States also renewed its sanctions against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, besides targeting several senior Russian defence officials as it seeks to punish countries that supported Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Moscow’s move came in response to massive sanctions imposed by Washington on Russian officials, hours awhile the United Kingdom placed new penalties on more than 370 Russians and banned the export of luxury goods to the country.

However, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it was maintaining official relations with Washington and if necessary would make sure that high-level contacts with the people on the list could take place.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Parliament voted to prolong Martial Law by 30 days, and the capital prepared to go into an extended two-night curfew from 8pm local time as Kyiv’s mayor warned of dangerous times ahead.

Moscow and Kyiv continued negotiations aimed at achieving a cease-fire amid relentless firing by Russian troops advancing towards the Ukrainian capital.

The prime ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia announced a coordinated visit to Kyiv for talks with Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the first in-person meeting with the Ukrainian President since Russia launched the war on its neighbour about three weeks ago.


Thursday, March 17, 2022 – 01:00

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