Ukraine: Talks on Withdrawal of Ukrainian Troops from Azovstal

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The Ukrainian government has announced that it has launched a new round of talks aimed at rescuing soldiers trapped in the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.

“We have started a new round of negotiations,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Verestsuk was quoted as saying by the Ukrainian newspaper Prada.

According to her, the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross have been instructed to negotiate with the Russian side, while Turkey has taken on a mediating role.

“We would like an agreement to be signed on how to proceed with their removal from Azofstal – we are ready to sign it,” she said.

The purpose is to evacuate in stages, he explained. The first priority is to rescue 38 soldiers who have been seriously injured, he added.

“Once that happens, we will make further moves,” he promised, adding that Kyiv was prepared to exchange Russian prisoners of war with the wounded.

So far, Russia has refused to allow the removal of any troops at the giant Mariupol plant, demanding that Ukrainians and foreign mercenaries surrender.

source: ΑΠΕ

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