Russian President Vladimir Putin told German Chancellor Olaf Scholz that the peace talks over the situation in Ukraine were “blocked by kyiv”, this friday may 13.
The Kremlin said in a statement that the leaders had a telephone conversation that “focused on the humanitarian aspects of the crisis” and in which Putin shared his assessment of the Russia-Ukraine peace talks.
“Vladimir Putin described in detail the logic and main tasks of the ‘special military operation’ to protect the Donbas people’s republics, spoke about the measures taken to ensure the safety of civilians,” the statement from the Russian presidential headquarters added.
The statement noted that the Russian leader also briefed Scholz on the evacuation of civilians from the Ukrainian Azovstal steel plant in the city of Mariupol.
“The President of Russia and the Federal Chancellor of Germany agreed that the discussion on these issues will continue during contacts through various channels,” the statement said.
In the same vein, the Kremlin spokesman also said on Friday that Putin discussed the prospects of Finland and Sweden joining NATO with the country’s Security Council.
See also: The UN says that the once prosperous city of Mariupol in Ukraine ‘lies in ruins’
“An exchange of views took place on the issue of the decision of Finland and Sweden to join NATO and possible threats to Russia’s security arising in this regard,” Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow.
The spokesman added that Putin also spoke with council members about the upcoming meeting of the Russia-led military bloc’s Collective Security Treaty Organization to be held on May 16 in Moscow.
Meanwhile, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu briefed the meeting participants on Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine, Peskov said.
Asked about the evacuation of the besieged people at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Peskov said the ability to leave in any direction was given only to civilians, “not to militants.”
“As for the military, it was said that they can also gradually lay down their arms, (then) they will be treated accordingly, and all the wounded will receive the necessary medical assistance,” Peskov recalled.
At least 3,541 civilians have been killed and 3,785 others injured since Russia launched war against Ukraine on February 24, according to UN estimates, and the real number is feared to be much higher.
More than 5.91 million Ukrainians have fled to other countries and some 7.7 million more have become internally displaced, according to the UN refugee agency.
*Aicha Sandoval Alaguna contributed to the writing of this article.
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