Putin says ready for Ukraine talks if all Russian demands met

TEHRAN, Mar. 04 (MNA) – It's another heavy day into the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, as media reported early Friday that Europe’s largest nuclear power plant Zaporizhzhia has been faced shelling and subsequently caught fire.

Ukraine's FM has warned that if the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear power plant 'blows up, it will be 10 times larger than Chernobyl. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy called for a ceasefire at an emergency address.

On Thursday, Russian and Ukrainian delegations held the second round of talks in Belarus which resulted in an agreement to jointly organise humanitarian corridors to ensure evacuation of civilians and deliveries of food and medicines. Also, the sides agreed to continue negotiations as soon as possible.

Here are all the latest updates:

Putin ready for Ukraine dialogue if ‘all Russian demands’ met

Russian President Vladimir Putin has told German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in a telephone call that Russia was ready for dialogue over Ukraine if all its demands are met, the Kremlin said.

Putin “confirmed that Russia is open to dialogue with the Ukrainian side, as well as with everyone who wants peace in Ukraine. But under the condition that all Russian demands are met,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

Putin says ready for Ukraine talks if all Russian demands met

3rd round of Russia-Ukraine talks may be held Sat. or Sun.

Kiev’s chief negotiator at talks with Russia hopes that a third round may follow on Saturday or Sunday, Ukrainian presidential office adviser Mikhail Podolyak said on Friday.

"A third round may be tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. We keep in touch. We stay online. When it is clear that we are ready, for instance, to discuss ceasefire, that there is an option ready, we will go. We finished just a moment ago. The delegation went to go ahead with its work," Podolyak told a news briefing in Lvov.

Russia State Duma Speaker says Zelensky left Ukraine for Poland

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky has left Ukraine and is currently in Poland, Russian State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin asserted, according to Sputnik. 

"Zelensky left Ukraine. Deputies of the Verkhovna Rada said that they could not get to him in Lvov", he wrote on his Telegram channel. "He is now in Poland".

The Ukrainian president has not commented on this assertion.

Reports that Zelensky left the Ukrainian capital emerged earlier last week, with the president refuting them and posting several video messages in which he said he remained in Kyiv.

Putin says ready for Ukraine talks if all Russian demands met

NATO does not seek war with Russia: Stoltenberg

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said NATO does not seek war with Russia. “We must ensure that conflict does not spread,” he said.

He has warned the war in Ukraine will lead to more deaths and destruction over the coming days as he appealed to Putin to withdraw all Russian troops without conditions.

“The days to come are likely to be worse, with more deaths, more suffering and more destruction,” Stoltenberg told reporters after a meeting of the alliance’s foreign ministers at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels.

But he ruled out sending NATO troops to Ukraine or setting up a no-fly zone over the country, as has been requested by Kyiv, amid fears such moves would draw the alliance into a direct military confrontation with Russia.

“Allies agree we should not have NATO planes operating in Ukrainian air space or NATO troops on Ukraine’s territory,” Stoltenberg said.

Switzerland adopts sanctions against Russia

Restrictive measures include a ban on transactions with Russia's Central Bank, joining the EU's SWIFT move as well as an embargo on a number of exports to Russia.

UN says more than 1.2 million people flee Ukraine

More than 1.2 million people have fled Ukraine into neighbouring countries since Russia launched its operation on February 24, United Nations figures showed Friday.

64-km-long Russian convoy deployment near Kyiv

A 3D video covering more than 1,400 sq km area, created with high-resolution satellite images mixed with the Precision3D model of US-based space firm Maxar Technology, provides a real-life experience of the large Russian column near the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

However, intelligence assessment from the US and the UK shows that the column is still waiting at some distance from the capital city. Stretched over almost 64 km, the Russian convoy includes military trucks, armoured vehicles and military equipment.

UNSC to hold emergency meeting on Ukraine Friday

The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting requested by Britain on Friday at 11:30 am (1630 GMT) after the attack on Europe's largest nuclear plant in Ukraine, diplomatic sources said.

The session was requested by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, diplomats told AFP, with the United States, France, Norway, Ireland and Albania joining the call for an urgent meeting.

Putin says ready for Ukraine talks if all Russian demands met

Putin says Russia has no ill intentions towards its neighbours

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia has no ill intentions towards its neighbours, Russian state news Sputnik reported. 

Referring to the ongoing Russian special operation in Ukraine, Putin stressed that Russia only responds to "negative actions by other countries".

Putin says Russia to continue developing no matter how hard it is

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the country will continue its development no matter how hard it is, while transport and logistics infrastructure is going to be strengthened across the country.

"No matter how challenging it is, we will continue our development, and also are going to strengthen the transport and logistics infrastructure across the country," the head of state noted. Putin emphasized that this work would be carried out "in the Baltic and Arctic territories as well as in Russia’s the Far East."

Putin says ready for Ukraine talks if all Russian demands met

Russian advance on Mykolaiv has been halted, Zelenskyy adviser says

A Russian advance on the southern port city of Mykolaiv has been halted, an adviser to Ukraine’s president Oleksiy Arestovych has said in a televised briefing.

His remarks came after local authorities reported Russian troops had entered the ship-building hub on the Black Sea for the first time.

Governor Vitaliy Kim said fighting was underway in parts of the city. “Let’s not get nervous,” Kim said in a video statement shared online.

Russia takes control of TV tower in Melitopol

Zaporozhye Regional Military administration confirmed that the Russian forces have taken control of a television tower in Melitopol. This is the second tower that Russians took control of it today, according to reports.

Earlier, the Russian military has taken control of a TV broadcasting tower in the southern city of Kherson. 

Putin says ready for Ukraine talks if all Russian demands met

Russian troops reportedly enter Ukraine's Mykolaiv 

Russian military forces have entered Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine, according to reports by The Spectator Index.

Three Russian vessels, yacht detained in France: Russian envoy

Russian Ambassador to France Alexey Meshkov announced in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel the detention of three Russian vessels and a yacht in France.

The Russian envoy also added that "in general, at the present time, French territorial waters for Russian vessels are similar to that of Somalia."

"Since the vessels are delayed almost without any explanation, then [they are] searched, nothing is found. Everything is transferred to the judicial authorities. When the judicial authorities make some decisions, no one, of course, can predict," Meshkov pointed out.

Belarusian forces not to take part in Ukraine conflict, Lukashenko says

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said that his country’s troops are not currently taking part in Russia’s operation in Ukraine, adding they will not participate in the operation in the future either.

Putin says ready for Ukraine talks if all Russian demands met

No radiation release at Ukraine plant, IAEA chief says

The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog said that there has been no release of radioactive material at the Zaporizhzhia plant following Russia’s attack on the site.

Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been in contact with the Ukrainian nuclear regulator and staff at the Zaporizhzhia plant after a training building at the site was hit, sparking a fire.

Grossi said two people on the site were injured in the blaze. He added that the plant’s operators and the Ukrainian regulator have warned the situation at the site “continues to be extremely tense and challenging”.

Only one of the plant’s six reactors is operating, at about 60 percent of its potential, Grossi said.

Putin says ready for Ukraine talks if all Russian demands met

NATO 'ready' for conflict 'if It comes to us': Blinken

NATO will defend all its allies and territory in the event of any Russian attack on the United States-led transatlantic military alliance, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said.

“Ours is a defensive alliance. We seek no conflict. But if conflict comes to us we are ready for it and we will defend every inch of NATO territory,” Blinken told reporters as he arrived for a meeting of the alliance’s foreign ministers at its headquarters in Brussels.

“And overnight, we’ve also seen reports about the attack against a nuclear power plant. This just demonstrates the recklessness of this war and the importance of ending it and the importance of Russia withdrawing all its troops and engaging in good faith in diplomatic efforts,” he added.

Putin says ready for Ukraine talks if all Russian demands met

Ukraine says Russia lost 9,166 military personnel in war

General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has claimed on Friday that the total combat losses of Russia from 24.02 to 04.03 included 9,166 military personnel. 

Australia freezes $33 million of Russian funds

Australia has frozen $33 million of Russian funds in an Australian financial institution under new sanctions as it ramps up response against Russia over military operation in Ukraine.

Russian MPs adopt bill introducing jail terms for 'fake' news on army

Russian lawmakers on Friday approved legislation providing up to 15 years in jail for any publication of fake news about the Russian armed forces.

The bill, adopted after a third reading, sets out jail terms of varying lengths and fines against people who publish “knowingly false information” about the military, with harsher penalties to hit when dissemination is deemed to have serious consequences.

Russian troops destroy over 1,800 Ukrainian military facilities: top brass

The Russian troops have destroyed 1,812 Ukrainian military facilities in their special operation, including 49 planes on the ground and 13 aircraft in the air, 635 tanks and 54 unmanned aerial vehicles, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said on Friday.

"The Russian troops continue delivering strikes on Ukrainian military infrastructure facilities. Over the period of the operation, they have destroyed 1,812 facilities, including 65 command and communications centers of the Ukrainian armed forces, 56 S-300, Buk-M1 and Osa surface-to-air missile systems and 59 radar stations. They have also destroyed 49 planes on the ground and 13 aircraft in the air, 635 tanks and other armored vehicles, 67 multiple rocket launchers, 252 field artillery guns and mortars, 442 items of special military hardware and also 54 UAVs," the spokesman said.

Putin says ready for Ukraine talks if all Russian demands met

Ukraine says Russia taken control of Zaporizhzhia Plant

Russian troops have taken control of the Zaporizhzhia plant, according to local officials and the Ukrainian nuclear inspectorate.

The inspectorate said staff at the facility were continuing to operate the reactor and supply power according to normal safety rules.

Fire at Ukraine nuclear plant extinguished

Emergency services in Ukraine have said that they have extinguished a fire at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant of Zaporizhzhia.

“At 06:20 [04:20 GMT] the fire in the training building of Zaporizhzhia NPP in Energodar was extinguished. There are no victims,” the emergency services said in a statement on Facebook.

Putin says ready for Ukraine talks if all Russian demands met

UK's Johnson to seek UN Security Council meeting

The office of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he will seek an emergency UN Security Council meeting after Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant caught fire. 

Johnson’s office said he spoke to Zelensky in the early hours of the morning. He says Britain will raise the issue immediately with Russia and close partners.

Johnson’s office said he and Zelensky agreed that Russia must immediately cease attacking and allow emergency services unfettered access to the plant. The two agree a ceasefire is essential.

US, Ukrainian officials discuss aid to Ukraine

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has discussed additional security, economic and humanitarian support needed by Ukraine in a call with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, the State Department has said.

Fire at Ukraine nuclear plant extinguished

EU agrees to offer protection to Ukraine refugees

The European Union has agreed to approve temporary protection for refugees fleeing the situation in Ukraine while also setting up a humanitarian hub in Romania.

EU interior ministers agreed in a Brussels meeting to activate a temporary protection mechanism drawn up two decades ago – in response to the wars in the former Yugoslavia – but never used.

European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson, who attended the meeting, tweeted that it was an “historic decision”.

French interior minister Gerald Darmanin said, “The European Union will accord temporary protection to all those fleeing the war in Ukraine.”

Zaporizhzhia power plant is on fire, says mayor of local town

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, the largest of its kind in Europe, is on fire after an attack by Russian troops, the mayor of the nearby town of Enerdohar has said.

“As a result of continuous enemy shelling of buildings and units of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant is on fire,” Orlov said.

Fire at Ukraine nuclear plant extinguished

Czech Republic to send additional military aid to Ukraine

The Czech Republic will send an additional military aid package worth 17 million crowns ($730,000) to Ukraine, including light weapons and ammunition rounds, the defence ministry has said.

The ministry said on its Twitter account the package included hundreds of machine guns or assault rifles and more than 100,0000 ammunition rounds from Czech weapons groups, such as CZG-Ceska Zbrojovka Group.

Fresh US sanctions target Russian elites, Putin’s inner circle

The White House has announced additional sanctions on several wealthy Russian elites and individuals in Putin’s inner circle, including the Russian president’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov.

The sanctions, which include visa restrictions and seizure of assets, target 19 “oligarchs” and 47 of their family members.

Read all the updates from Thursday, March 3, here.


News Code 184487


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