BREAKING: Ukraine and Russia have suspended peace talks

Breaking News: Abnormally high temperatures from Friday

Breaking News: Abnormally high temperatures from Friday

A MAJOR setback has been announced today regarding peace talks between warring countries, Ukraine and Russia.

Russia’s deputy minister, Andréi Rudenko, stated on Tuesday, May 17 that peace talks with Ukraine had broken down and are now not being held “in any form”.

Rudenko said: “Negotiations are not continuing. Ukraine has in fact abandoned the negotiating process.”

Prior to Rudenko’s announcement, Dmitry Peskov, press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation, was quoted as saying that “any war ends in peace, and this world will be one where our voice will be heard, where we will be comfortable, safe, and where we will confidently stand on our own feet.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov criticised Washington and London on Tuesday, May 17 for “guiding” Ukraine during previous rounds of negotiations with Russia.

Negotiations between the parties stalled a month and a half ago, after the fighting in Mariupol intensified and images of Bucha came to light.

On Tuesday, May 17, 265 Ukrainian soldiers from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol reportedly “laid down their arms and surrendered”.

According to the official representative of the Russian Defence Ministry, Igor Konashenkov, “Over the past 24 hours, 265 militants laid down their arms and surrendered, including 51 seriously wounded.”

Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Irina Vereshchuk said on Tuesday, May 17 that the humanitarian operation to rescue the Ukrainian defenders of Mariupol continues.

“In the interests of saving lives, 52 of our seriously wounded servicemen were evacuated (from Azovstal) yesterday. After their condition stabilises, we will exchange them for Russian prisoners of war,” Vereshchuk said via the messaging app Telegram.

Events in the Ukrainian city of Bucha were brought to light back in April when images of mass graves of innocent Ukrainian civilians surfaced on social media.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg called for swift justice for those responsible of ‘war crimes’ in Bucha.

“Targeting and killing civilians is a war crime. All the facts must be established and all those responsible for these atrocities must be brought to justice,” he said on Tuesday, April 5.

On March 29, delegates of both countries held face-to-face talks in Istanbul and prior to that, there were reports that potential progress had been made in peace talks on Wednesday, March 16.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov told RBC news at the time: “Neutral status is now being seriously discussed along, of course, with security guarantees.”

His statement opened up the potential for an agreement on Kyiv being given a neutral status.

“Now this very thing is being discussed in negotiations – there are absolutely specific formulations which in my view are close to agreement,” he added.

Lavrov also stressed that although talks with Ukraine “are not easy”, he had hoped an agreement could have been reached to end the war.

“I focus on the reports that our negotiators are giving us. They say that the negotiations are not easy, for obvious reasons, but there is some hope for a compromise,” he said at the time.

A continued sticking point for peace is the NATO issue, more specifically Finland and Sweden’s launch of membership bids.

On Sunday, May 15, Finland formally announced its intention of applying for NATO membership.

In a joint news conference held at Helsinki’s Presidential Palace, Sauli Niinisto, the country’s President, and Sanna Marin, the Finnish Prime Minister, both confirmed this move – which is thought of as surprising from a country that has remained neutral for more than 75 years.

Then on Tuesday, May 15, Sweden formally announced its intention of applying for NATO membership.

Sweden’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Ann Linde, said: “Just signed a historic indication letter to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg from the Swedish Government. Our NATO application is now formally signed.”

However, both countries’ NATO membership bids could be blocked by Turkey.

Speaking on Sunday, May 15, Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that both countries need to lift export bans on Turkey and cease supporting terrorist groups within their own countries if they were to approve the countries’ membership in NATO.

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at