Following the invasion of Russia in Ukraine, a top Ukrainian negotiator on Wednesday offered to negotiate with Russia “without any conditions”.
This negotiation is to allow the evacuation of troops and civilians in besieged Mariupol.
“Without any conditions. We’re ready to hold a ‘special round of negotiations’ right in Mariupol,” Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his lead peace negotiator, wrote on Twitter.
Podolyak added: “One on one. Two on two. To save our guys, Azov, military, civilians, children, the living & the wounded. Everyone. Because they are ours. Because they are in my heart. Forever.”
A band of Ukrainian resistance and civilians have been holed up in the strategic southern port city, where surrounding Russian forces have launched a devastating shelling campaign — targeting civilian areas that include hospitals, theaters, shelters, and schools.
Oleksiy Arestovych, an advisor to Zelenskyy, said on Tuesday that Ukraine would not hold peace talks with Russia if President Vladimir Putin’s forces captured Mariupol.
Russia previously ordered Ukraine’s resistance in the city to surrender but Ukrainian troops refused.