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Ukraine: a humanitarian operation in Mariupol not possible “at this stage”, announces the Elysée

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The conditions for launching in the coming days a humanitarian operation to help the inhabitants of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, besieged by the Russian army, “are not met at this stage”, announced the Elysée after a meeting between the presidents Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin.

The conditions for launching in the coming days a humanitarian operation to help the inhabitants of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, besieged by the Russian army, “are not met at this stage”, announced the Elysée after a meeting between the presidents Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin.

Still 170,000 inhabitants on site

The French head of state presented this evacuation operation – proposed at the end of last week by France, Turkey and Greece – to his Russian counterpart who said “he was going to think about it” before giving a response, added the presidency. Until then, “it is out of the question to relax the efforts” because the situation is “dramatic” and “catastrophic” in Mariupol for the approximately 170,000 inhabitants who remain there, according to her.

The Kremlin said for its part that Vladimir Putin had explained to his interlocutor that, “to find a solution to the difficult humanitarian situation in this city, the Ukrainian nationalist fighters must stop resisting and lay down their arms”. In addition, the Elysée did not want to comment on the results of the talks between Russia and Ukraine in Istanbul, described as “substantial” by the negotiators of the two camps. “Our wish is first to coordinate with the Ukrainians,” said the presidency, announcing an upcoming meeting between Emmanuel Macron and Volodymyr Zelensky.

“For now, the war continues”

“For now, the war continues” and “our demands remain the same”, including that of a ceasefire, she added. During the interview, which lasted about an hour, Vladimir Putin also reaffirmed his demand that deliveries of Russian gas be paid for in rubles and no longer in euros or dollars. He claimed that it was “in accordance with the supply agreements”, an assertion disputed by Emmanuel Macron, like the G7, who on Friday denounced a requirement that was neither “possible” nor “contractual”.

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