Putin, Italian PM Discuss Situation in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi have discussed the situation in Ukraine, and Putin reviewed the return of peaceful life in the liberated cities of Donbass and mentioned the freezing of the talks by Kiev, the Kremlin said on Thursday.

“The situation in Ukraine was discussed. In particular, Vladimir Putin reviewed the ongoing work to establish a peaceful life in the liberated cities of Donbass,” the Kremlin said in a statement. The statement said the Russian leader spoke in detail about the steps taken to ensure the safety of navigation, “including the daily opening of humanitarian corridors for the exit of civilian ships from the ports of the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea, which is hindered by the Ukrainian side.”

“Principled assessments were given to the negotiation process that was frozen by Kiev,” the statement said.

The talks were initiated by Italy.

On February 24 Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation in response to a request for help by the heads of the Donbass republics. He stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, but aims to demilitarize and de-Nazify the country. The Russian Defense Ministry said that Russian troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, but are incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure, so there’s no threat to civilians.

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