Russia is trying to manipulate French President Emmanuel Macron and other Western leaders by demanding humanitarian corridors for Ukraine exit through Russia or Belarus, a senior Ukrainian official said on Monday.
However, Ukraine has rejected Moscow-proposed humanitarian corridors to Belarus, Russia for evacuation.
The third round of talks between Russia and Ukraine about ending hostilities are expected to be held today. Last week, the sides agreed to open humanitarian corridors to allow civilians out of some combat zones, but none of them has worked so far, with the sides accusing each other of violating local ceasefire.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed to punish everyone who “committed atrocities” in the war that has claimed lives of hundreds, including women and children. Zelenskyy said that “we will not forget, we will not forgive” those involved.
“In Ukraine rivers of blood and tears are flowing. This is not only a military operation but a war which is leading to death, destruction and misery,” said Pope Francis, rejecting the term “military operation” that Russia has used to describe its actions.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi Monday stressed that china’s friendship with Russia was still very strong, despite international condemnation of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, as he said China was open to helping mediate peace.
“The friendship between the two peoples is rock-solid, and both sides’ future cooperation prospects are very vast,” said Wang at an annual press briefing.
But he said China was “willing to work with the international community to carry out necessary mediation, when necessary”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that he will achieve his goals in Ukraine “through negotiation or through war”.
Russia has declined to attend a hearing at the UN’s top court on Monday at which Ukraine is asking for an immediate order to halt the conflict, the head judge said.