Ukraine, Russia begin talks on Belarus border | News


DEVELOPING STORY,

Ukraine seeks ceasefire and instant withdrawal of Russian troops.

Talks between Russian and Ukrainian officers have started on the Belarusian border as diplomatic isolation and financial sanctions on Russia deepen 4 days after invading Ukraine.

Talks started on Monday with Ukraine calling for an instantaneous ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian forces.

Russia has been cagier, with the Kremlin declining to touch upon Moscow’s intention in negotiations.

It was not clear whether or not any progress may very well be achieved after President Vladimir Putin on Thursday launched the assault and put Russia’s nuclear deterrent on excessive alert on Sunday.

Russian forces seized two small cities in southeastern Ukraine and the realm round a nuclear energy plant, the Interfax information company stated on Monday.

The talks are being held on the border with sturdy Russian ally Belarus, the place a referendum on Sunday permitted a brand new structure ditching the nation’s non-nuclear standing at a time when the previous Soviet republic has change into a launch pad for Russian troops invading Ukraine.

INTERACTIVE Russia-Ukraine map Who controls what in Ukraine DAY 5

The Western-led response to the invasion has been sweeping, with sanctions that successfully reduce off Moscow’s main monetary establishments from successive Western markets, sending Russia’s rouble forex down 30 p.c towards the greenback on Monday.

International locations additionally stepped up weapons provides to Ukraine.

On Monday, blasts have been heard earlier than daybreak within the capital Kyiv and within the main jap metropolis of Kharkiv, Ukrainian authorities stated. However Russian floor forces’ makes an attempt to seize key city centres had been repelled, they added.

Russia’s defence ministry, nevertheless, stated its forces had taken over the cities of Berdyansk and Enerhodar in Ukraine’s southeastern Zaporizhzhya area in addition to the realm across the Zaporizhzhya nuclear energy plant, Interfax reported.

The plant’s operations continued usually, it stated.

Ukraine denied that the nuclear plant had fallen into Russian palms, based on the information company.

There was preventing across the Ukrainian port metropolis of Mariupol all through the evening, Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of the Donetsk regional administration, stated on tv on Monday. He didn’t say whether or not Russian forces had gained or misplaced any floor, nor present any casualty figures.

No less than 102 civilians in Ukraine have been killed since Thursday, with an additional 304 wounded, however the actual determine is feared to be “significantly larger”, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet stated on Monday.

Greater than half one million individuals have fled to neighbouring international locations, based on the UN refugee company.

Reporting from Moscow, Al Jazeera’s Bernard Smith stated Ukraine and Russia “appear very, very far aside on what they need out of the talks”.

“It appears Russia is continuous preventing, even whereas these talks are going down … so either side are very far aside and it it’s onerous to see how they’ll come to an settlement on a ceasefire.”

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