According to Ukraine, a first round of negotiations between Russia’s and Ukraine’s foreign ministers failed to make progress on a ceasefire. Following the conference in Turkey, Dmytro Kuleba stated that the demands made by his Russian colleague, Sergei Lavrov, amounted to a capitulation.
Meanwhile, Mr. Lavrov stated that his country’s military action was proceeding as planned.
The negotiations are taking place after Russia bombed a children’s hospital, which Ukraine called a “war crime” Officials said three people, including a toddler, were killed in the incident in Mariupol, Ukraine’s southernmost city.
Russia started a full-fledged invasion of Ukraine two weeks ago, and over 2.3 million people have fled the nation since then.
According to Mr Kuleba, the worst humanitarian crisis was in Mariupol, where inhabitants had been detained for days in frigid temperatures without electricity or water.
However, he said that Russia had not committed to building a humanitarian corridor there and had not reacted to offers for a 24-hour humanitarian truce across Ukraine.
“I want to repeat that Ukraine has not surrendered, does not surrender, and will not surrender,” he said, adding that he was eager to continue meetings.
The Russian foreign minister, for his part, made no compromises and repeatedly demanded that Ukraine disarm and adopt neutral status. He stated that Moscow was awaiting a response from Kyiv.
Mr. Lavrov further accused the West of escalating the crisis by supplying Ukraine with weapons.
He predicted that Russia will cope with Western sanctions and “come out of the crisis with a better psychology and conscience”
“I assure you we will cope and will do everything not to rely on the West ever, in any areas of our lives,” he declared.
Western authorities, including the White House, have warned Russia that it may deploy chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine or carry out a “false flag” operation – a deceptive operation claimed on the opposing party that is frequently used to justify a pre-emptive counter-attack.
Mr. Lavrov reiterated Russia’s accusation that the Pentagon was exploiting Ukrainian land to cultivate germs that might be used to build biological weapons, which the US has dismissed as “preposterous”
He also said that Ukraine was planning an attack on two rebel territories in eastern Ukraine backed by Russia.
Moscow previously claimed that Ukrainian soldiers carried 80 tonnes of ammonia in the country’s north-east, but provided no evidence.