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Russia, Ukraine agree to seek solution to humanitarian situation during Turkey talks

Date:

ANKARA: Ukrainian and Russian Foreign Ministers have agreed to continue efforts to seek solution to humanitarian situation on the ground, following talks in Turkey on Thursday.

Ukrainian FM Dmytro Kuleba added that no progress was made on ceasefire as Russia’s Lavrov was not authorized to discuss the matter. 

“I want to repeat that Ukraine has not surrendered, does not surrender, and will not surrender,” Kuleba told reporters after the meeting.

The high-level tripartite meeting between foreign ministers of Turkey, Ukraine, and Russia happened on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Turkey and lasted for more than an hour. 

Turkey stressed that humanitarian corridors in Ukraine should be kept open without any obstacles, said Foreign Minister Cavusoglu, adding that war has no winner, and losers are innocent civilians. 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that President Vladimir Putin is not refusing to hold a meeting with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy but some preparatory work needs to be done. 

Following his meeting with Turkish and Ukrainian foreign ministers in Antalya, Lavrov claimed Zelenskyy suggested meeting to “show off,” not to address problems. 

“Foreign colleagues including the EU, who send weapons to Ukraine, encourage mercenaries,” Lavrov said, adding they “will be responsible for their actions”.

He said Russia will cope with sanctions in such a way that it will never depend on Westerners. 

“We will take such measures so we will never face a similar situation again,” he added.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg will meet Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Friday.

Stoltenberg will visit Antalya on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, NATO announced in a press statement.

He will hold talks with Erdogan and Cavusoglu, and participate in the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, the statement added.

The Antalya Diplomacy Forum is a high-level event of political leaders, diplomats, foreign policy experts, and academics.

Critical 3-way talks kick off with Russia, Ukraine in Antalya

The foreign ministers of Turkey, Ukraine, and Russia have met in to reach a lasting peace as the Russia-Ukraine conflict enters its 15th day. 

The high-level tripartite meeting began at 1100 AM local (0800 GMT) in the Turkish city of Antalya on the sidelines of Antalya Diplomacy Forum.

Prior to the meeting on Wednesday, Ukrainian Minister Dmytro Kuleba on social media voiced hope for “talks in good faith, not from a propaganda perspective, but really with the task of finding a solution on how to end the war waged by Russia.”

At least three people were killed, including a young girl, in an attack on a children’s hospital in Mariupol in southern Ukraine, local officials said. 

“Three people were killed, including a female child, in yesterday’s attack on a children’s and maternity hospital in Ukraine’s besieged Mariupol, according to updated figures this morning,” the city council said on its Telegram channel.

Officials had previously given a toll of 17 injured, including doctors, in the attack. 

Russia said a Ukrainian claim that it bombed a children’s hospital in Mariupol was “fake news” because the building was a former maternity hospital that had long been taken over by troops.

“That’s how fake news is born,” Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s first deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, said on Twitter.

Polyanskiy said Russia had warned on March 7 that the hospital had been turned into a military object from which Ukrainians were firing.

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