Zelensky says it’s time for a meaningful discussion with Moscow

Update on the crisis in Russia and Ukraine, March 19th. Click here for the latest information from March 18th.

Zelensky says it’s time for a meaningful discussion with Moscow

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for comprehensive peace talks with Moscow on Saturday, saying Russia would otherwise need generations to recover from the losses it suffered during the war.

Mr Zelensky said Ukraine has always provided a solution for peace and wanted meaningful and honest negotiations on peace and security without delay.

“Especially in Moscow, I want everyone to hear me now. It’s time for a meeting, it’s time to talk,” he said in a video address released early Saturday. ..

“It’s time to restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity and justice. Otherwise, Russia’s losses would be like taking several generations to recover.”

Both sides have been involved in the negotiations for weeks without any sign of a breakthrough.

Zelensky said Russian troops were deliberately blocking the supply of humanitarian supplies to the cities under attack.

Zelensky said there was no information on how many people died after the attack on the theater in Mariupol, where hundreds of people had been evacuated on Wednesday. He said more than 130 people have been rescued so far.


Ukraine “temporarily” loses access to the Sea of ​​Azov: Ministry of Defense

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense said late Friday that invading Russian troops had “temporarily” lost access to the Sea of ​​Azov as they were strengthening their grip around Mariupol’s main port.

“The occupying forces have partially succeeded in the Donetsk operation area, temporarily depriving Ukraine of access to the Sea of ​​Azov,” the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

The ministry did not specify in a statement whether Ukrainian troops had regained access to the sea.

Russia said on Friday that its troops were “tightening territories” around Mariupol. In Mariupol, an estimated 80 percent of the city’s homes were damaged. About 1,000 people may still be trapped in a temporary bomb shelter beneath the destroyed theater.

Mariupol’s strategic location on the coast of the Sea of ​​Azov has been targeted since the start of the war on February 24, when Russian President Vladimir Putin launched what he called a “special military operation.”


Russia tells Google to stop spreading threats to Russians on YouTube

Russia demanded on Friday that Google stop spreading what is called a threat to Russian citizens on its YouTube video sharing platform. This is a move that could presage a complete block of service on Russian territory.

Regulator Roskomnadzor said advertising on the platform called for the shutdown of communication systems on the Russian and Belarus rail networks, and their dissemination is evidence of the anti-Russian position of US companies. I didn’t know which account was publishing the ad.

“YouTube’s administrative actions are of the nature of terrorists and threaten the lives and health of Russian citizens,” regulators said.

“Roskomnadzor is categorically opposed to such advertising campaigns and demands that Google stop broadcasting anti-Russian videos as soon as possible.”


Russia tackles solo Mars mission after Europe freezes joint project: Interfax

Interfax announced on Friday that Russia will begin work on its own Mars mission, given that the European Space Agency (ESA) has suspended a joint project following the invasion of Ukraine.

The ESA announced on Thursday that it is impossible to continue working with Russia on the ExoMars mission. Russian rockets were scheduled to transport European-made rover to Mars later this year.

Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, said:

Interfax said it doesn’t think it’s necessary because Russia’s existing landing modules designed to transport rover can perform the necessary scientific work.

Rogozin said there were “big questions” about what the ESA could do without Russia, which already had rockets, launch sites and landing modules. He said ESA would take at least six years to develop its own module.

Following sanctions, Roscosmos has already stopped cooperating with Europe on launching into space and has announced that it will stop supplying rocket engines to the United States.


India continues to buy Russian oil and gas

Indian Oil Corp., India’s state-owned oil company, bought 3 million barrels of crude oil from Russia earlier this week, countering western pressure to avoid buying oil from Moscow.

New Delhi has not imposed sanctions on the purchase of oil and gas from Russia and has no plans to do so.

So far, the UN vote to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has abstained.

India seems to continue to buy, despite sanctions on Russia by the United States and other Western countries.

According to media reports in India, Russia offers discounts on oil purchases that are 20 percent lower than global benchmark prices.

India is the world’s third-largest energy consumer and has acquired multiple cargoes of Russian oil from traders who would have gone to Europe before western sanctions on Moscow.

Read the full article here

Brian Jung and Reuters contributed to this report.

Epoch Times Staff