Minister Lavrov says Russia didn’t attack Ukraine
The discussions between the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmitry Kuleba and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov ended without any result.
According to Kuleba, no results were reached since Lavrov didn’t have the mandate to sign any agreements. “I came here with a humanitarian purpose, to walk out of the meeting with a decision to arrange a humanitarian corridor to and from Mariupol,” Kuleba said, adding that they discussed a 24-hour ceasefire and he is ready to meet again “if there will be prospects to a solution.” “I want to repeat that Ukraine has not surrendered, does not surrender, and will not surrender”.
Three attempts to evacuate civilians from Mariupol city failed after Russia violated the agreed-upon temporary ceasefire.
In a briefing after the meeting, Lavrov said Russia wants to continue negotiations with Ukraine and President Vladimir Putin would not refuse a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy to discuss “specific” issues. New talks are to be held on the negotiation platform in Berlin.
The Russian press meanwhile broadcast the direct speech of Lavrov, who said that Russia didn’t attack Ukraine and does not intend to invade other countries.
Konashenkov and Lavrov have different views about shelling of Mariupol maternity hospital
Russian defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov stated that the Mariupol hospital attack on March 9 was staged by Ukraine. “The Russian aviation carried out absolutely no missions to hit targets on the ground in the Mariupol area,” he said.
For his part, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a press conference in Antalya confirmed that the bombing of a hospital and a maternity hospital in Mariupol was a conscious and purposeful decision by the Russian army. Lavrov stressed that he considered this maternity hospital a military target.
“A few days ago, at a meeting of the UN Security Council, the Russian delegation presented the facts that this maternity hospital had long been occupied by the Azov Battalion and other radicals, and all mothers, all nurses and all personnel had been expelled. It was the base of the ultra-radical Azov Battalion”, he stated.
Foreign Affairs Ministry announces Russia’s withdrawal from Council of Europe
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that Russia would no longer participate in the Council of Europe because NATO and European Union countries, hostile to Moscow, continued to pursue a policy to undermine the organization and the common humanitarian and legal space in Europe.
Russia also withdraws from the European Court of Human Rights, which means that the people wronged in national courts will no longer be able to seek justice in Strasbourg.
Also, the Constitutional Court of Russia announced it has withdrawn from the Conference of Constitutional Courts of Europe.
For Ukrainians, European security system no longer exists
The head of the presidential administration of Ukraine Andrii Ermak said that they cannot talk about a European security system now and this was proven by Russia’s war against Ukraine.
He noted that the system should be built from zero and Ukraine should enjoy real guarantees within a global security system, based on the experience of the Budapest Memorandum.
President of France François Macron said Ukraine’s application for EU membership cannot be examined amid a conflict, while Dutch Premier Mark Rutte said there is no fast-tracked entrance procedure.
At the same time, a high-ranking European official told journalists that the applications to join the EU submitted by Ukraine, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova will be analyzed spearatelyt, not together.
China: yes and no
China is likely to act neutral but continue to show most of its sympathy for Russia, not Ukraine or the democracies fighting to save its independence, according to CNN.
At the same time, Valery Kudinov, head of the Aircraft Airworthiness Department at the Federal Air Transport Agency, said China refused to supply aircraft parts to Russian airline. He noted the situation with maintenance of aircraft and imports of spare parts is planned to be resolved, including through the re-export of components.
“Where shall we go now?” asked the Germans beaten in WWII
The West realizes that Vladimir Putin is likely not to stop in Ukraine and could continue his way in the European direction. At least two plans are being worked out to stop the aggressor.
Putin’s removal from power in Russia would stop the war, but the imperial mentality of the Russians, which formed in time, would be a threat to the civilized world for a long period after “the TV set is turned off”, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in 2014-2019 Pavlo Klimkin.
Russian property confiscated in Ukraine
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday signed a law to allow the confiscation of Russia-owned property in Ukraine. The law stipulates that the property owned by Russia or Russian citizens could be confiscated by the Ukrainian authorities without any compensation, according to RIA Novosti.