Ukraine Demands For Ceasefire As Peace Talks With Russian Kick-off At Belarus Border

Ukraine Demands For Ceasefire As Peace Talks With Russian Kick-off At Belarus Border

By Uganda Online Media Correspondent

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday demanded an immediate Russian ceasefire and troop withdrawal ahead of talks at the Belarus border as the conflict entered the fifth day. Zelensky said he was skeptical about the outcome of the talks but said that they were worth a “try”.

European Union defense ministers are set to discuss plans later to jointly finance deliveries of weapons worth 500 million euros ($560m) to Ukraine, and these will include a range of defensive arms aimed at helping assist Kyiv’s efforts to repel Russian forces, the bloc’s foreign policy chief says.

“Member states have to provide these arms, they have to coordinate with what they are doing … with these resources,” Josep Borrell said ahead of the virtual meeting of the bloc’s defense ministers.

“The fight is fierce, Kyiv is resisting … and Russia is paying a high toll in a number of casualties, but we have to provide the munitions, we have to provide the high-calibre guns and anti-tank equipment. Also fuel … for the tanks, for the planes, all that has to be coordinated.”

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, who owns England’s Chelsea football club, has accepted a Ukrainian request to help negotiate an end to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, his spokeswoman says.

“I can confirm Roman Abramovich was contacted by the Ukrainian side for support in achieving a peaceful resolution, and that he has been trying to help ever since,” the spokeswoman said.

“Considering what is at stake, we would ask for understanding as to why we have not commented on either the situation as such or his involvement.”

The development was first reported by the United Kingdom’s Jewish News newspaper, which said Kyiv had reached out to Abramovich through his Jewish contacts in Ukraine in order to seek his assistance.

Dozens of people have been killed by Russian rocket strikes on the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, interior ministry adviser Anton Herashchenko says.

“Kharkiv has just been massively fired upon by grads (rockets). Dozens of dead and hundreds of wounded,” Herashchenko said in a post on Facebook.

Ukraine’s president says Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has agreed to provide Kyiv with $100m of aid, on top of existing financial support.

“A truly global anti-war coalition works,” Zelenskyy tweeted after the pair spoke by phone.

Kishida said separately that Tokyo will join the international sanctions effort on Russia’s central bank and impose sanctions on Belarusian individuals and organizations including President Alexander Lukashenko given the country’s “evident involvement in the invasion” of Ukraine.

The developments came after former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Sunday that Tokyo should weigh whether to seek a nuclear sharing arrangement similar to NATO’s nuclear deterrence policy following Russia’s assault on its neighbor.

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