Embattled Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy suggested to Russian President Vladimir Putin that they sit down at the negotiation table amid escalating tensions over Russia’s military actions in Ukraine.
“I would like to address the president of Russia once again … Let us sit down at the negotiation table to stop people dying,” Zelenskyy said in a video address, Sputnik News Agency reported.
The Ukraine president also said he will talk to Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
“Today at 10.30 am at the entrances to Chernihiv, Hostomel and Melitopol there were heavy fighting. People died. Next time I’ll try to move the war schedule to talk to #MarioDraghi at a specific time. Meanwhile, Ukraine continues to fight for its people,” Zelenskyy said in a tweet.
He also said that Sweden has provided military, technical and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.
“Grateful to @SwedishPMfor her effective support. Building an anti-Putin coalition together!” he said in another tweet.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had said earlier in the day that Moscow is ready for negotiations on Kiev at any moment.
“We are ready for negotiations. At any moment, as soon as the armed forces of Ukraine respond to the call of our president (Vladimir Putin), stop resisting and lay down their arms. No one is going to attack them, no one is going to oppress them, let them return to their families,” Lavrov said.
Zelenskyy also criticised some European countries for not being fast enough in extending assistance to Ukraine amid tensions.
“We do not quite see what you are going to do with this; how are you going to defend yourselves if you are so slow helping us in Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said in a televised statement, Sputnik reported.
He said that Western actions against Russia were not enough. He urged Western leaders to disconnect Moscow from the SWIFT banking system and withdraw ambassadors from the Russian capital.
Zelensky urged European countries to demand stoppage of “the war”.