Zelensky warns Russia over continuing siege of Mariupol

TEHRAN, Apr. 17 (MNA) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Saturday that negotiations with Russia would come to a halt if the Ukrainians defending the port city of Mariupol are killed.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Ukrainian media that the continuing siege of Mariupol could scuttle any attempts to find a negotiated end to the war. 

"The destruction of all our guys in Mariupol — what they are doing now — can put an end to any format of negotiations," Zelensky said in an interview.

Later, in his nightly video address to the country, Zelensky said Ukraine needs more support from the West to have a chance at saving Mariupol. 

"Either our partners give Ukraine all of the necessary heavy weapons, the planes, and without exaggeration immediately, so we can reduce the pressure of the Russian troops on Mariupol and break the blockade," he said, "or we do so through negotiations, in which the role of our partners should be decisive."

Russian Defence Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said Saturday that Ukrainian forces have been driven out of most of the city and remain only in the huge Azovstal steel mill. Russia also said that any Ukrainian forces left could lay down their weapons by 6 a.m. Moscow time Sunday and their lives would be spared, according to a report by Russian state-run news agency TASS.


News Code 185800


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