The conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues and on Monday Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that his country will continue peace negotiations with Ukraine, but he left a disturbing phrase warning of the “real” danger of a Third World War.
“Goodwill has limits. And if it is not reciprocal, it does not contribute to the negotiation process,” Lavrov was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies. “But we will continue to hold negotiations with the team sent by (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky, and contacts will continue,” he stressed.
On the other hand, Russia announced on Monday a ceasefire for the evacuation of civilians in the besieged Azovstal steelworks, in the city of Mariupol, in southeastern Ukraine, on the same day that it was learned that the United States will reopen in the days its embassy in Ukraine.
In Mariupol, meanwhile, Russian and pro-Russian troops from Donetsk will cease combat actions from 11:00 a.m. GMT to allow the evacuation of civilians “in the direction they choose,” said the head of the National Defense Control Center, Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev.
The statement specifies that the ceasefire announcement to allow the evacuation will be read every 30 minutes by loudspeakers so that it can be heard inside the plant.
“The readiness of the Ukrainian side to start the humanitarian operation must be confirmed by the display of white flags on the perimeter or at least in some sectors of Azovstal,” Mizintsev added.
On Thursday of last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin canceled the order to storm Azovstal, which had been fenced off for several weeks, and justified his decision with the need to think more about saving the lives and health of Russian soldiers and officers.
The United States will reopen its embassy
The United States government will reopen its embassy in Ukraine this week, which closed after the beginning of the Russian invasion, and believes that, with timely assistance, Kyiv can win this war, which was two months old this Sunday.
“The first step to win is to believe that you can win and we believe that Ukraine can win if it receives the support it needs,” said US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who visited Kyiv on Sunday with Secretary of State Antony Blinken. , and met with Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky.
Washington will resume its diplomatic activity in Ukraine this week with the return of its staff initially to the city of Lviv, in the west of the country, a town near the border with Poland that has hardly suffered from the Russian Army’s bombing.
Thus, the Joe Biden administration will shortly officially announce the appointment of a new ambassador to Ukraine, a position that will fall to Bridget Brink, a career diplomat who is currently the head of the US embassy in Slovakia, according to local US media.
At the meeting in Kyiv, Blinken and Austin spoke with Zelensky about matters related to defense assistance, financial support, and security guarantees that Ukraine needs after being militarily invaded by Russia, the press service of the Russian Federation reported on Monday. Ukrainian president.
Zelensky handed over to the US side an action plan to strengthen sanctions against the Russian Federation drawn up by the international group of experts Yermak-McFaul, which was created at the initiative of the Ukrainian president himself.
In particular, this plan proposes the expansion of sanctions against Russia that include oil and gas, transportation, new prohibitions in the financial area, and more restrictions on the activity of Russian state companies.
For Blinken, the future strategy consists of “massive support for Ukraine and massive pressure on Russia.”
Pope asks Orthodox to defend peace
Pope Francis has asked the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in a letter to defend peace in Ukraine and the end of the war, which Russia began on February 24.
The pontiff sent this message to Kirill and other patriarchs of Orthodox branches of Christianity, on the occasion of Easter that some Catholic and Orthodox churches celebrated yesterday, Sunday, April 24, according to the Julian calendar, Vatican News reported today.
Francis has given up meeting with Kirill in Jerusalem, as he initially planned, he said in an interview with La Nación newspaper published on Friday.