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“We do not attack Ukraine”: Lavrov’s appearance of false claims – Politics

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The first meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine since the beginning of the war did not bring any significant progress. It was also not possible to agree humanitarian corridors for the Azov Sea city of Mariupol, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Thursday after talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Antalya, Turkey.

Lavrov claimed – falsely – that Russia had not attacked Ukraine: “We will not attack other countries, nor have we attacked Ukraine.” Rather, his country felt threatened in its security. He accused the West of exacerbating the conflict by supplying weapons to Ukraine. “We see how dangerous our Western colleagues, including the European Union, are now acting.”

[Alle aktuellen Nachrichten zum russischen Angriff auf die Ukraine bekommen Sie mit der Tagesspiegel-App live auf ihr Handy. Hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen.]

The conversation in a hotel – the first since the Russian attack on the neighboring country two weeks ago – barely lasted an hour and a half. Until then, only lower-level negotiators from both sides had met.

According to Kuleba, Lavrov hardly has decision-making power.

Kuleba later said that Lavrov was unable to organize the escape corridors himself. “He will discuss this with the relevant authorities in Russia,” the Ukrainian minister said. In addition, a 24-hour ceasefire was discussed “to solve the most urgent humanitarian problems.” Literally, Kuleba said: “We have not made progress on this issue. Because it seems that these decisions are being made by others in Russia.”

[Alle aktuellen Entwicklungen im Ukraine-Krieg können Sie hier in unserem Newsblog verfolgen.]

Both Lavrov and Kuleba were, in principle, ready to continue the talks. “We are for any contact. But the contacts must bring added value,” Lavrov said. As a condition, Kuleba stated that there were “prospects for substantial discussions and a serious search for solutions.” According to Lavrov, Russian President Vladimir Putin also has nothing against meeting with his Ukrainian colleague Volodymyr Zelenskyy. However, this requires some “preparation work”.

More about the war in Ukraine on Tagesspiegel Plus:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has dismissed allegations of an attack on a maternity clinic in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol as false reports. Russia had already informed the United Nations on March 7 that there were no medical personnel in the old clinic, but rather a camp of ultra-radical fighters from the Ukrainian Azov battalion. He spoke of a “manipulation” of the entire world with information about alleged atrocities committed by the Russian army.

Kuleba said that the conversation was easy and difficult at the same time. “Simply because Minister Lavrov basically presented his traditional narratives on Ukraine. Difficult because I did my best to at least find a diplomatic solution to the humanitarian tragedy unfolding before our eyes on the battlefield of besieged cities.” (dpa)


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