Zelensky said that Ukraine was ready for immediate negotiations to evacuate people from Azovstal, but Peskov said that Putin had made his position clear: “civilians can leave, the military should lay down their arms and leave too”

Plant “Azovstal” in Mariupol

The Kremlin does not see topics for negotiations on the situation around the evacuation of people from the territory of the Azovstal metallurgical plant. in Mariupol, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS.

“President [Putin] said quite clearly— civilians can get out and go in any direction. The military must lay down their arms and also leave. They will save their lives, & mdash; he pointed out.

Peskov promised that medical assistance would be provided to the wounded and sick. “What can be the subject of negotiations in this case?” he wondered.

Earlier on April 28, at a briefing with UN Secretary General António Guterres in Kyiv, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that the Ukrainian side was “ready for immediate negotiations to evacuate people from Azovstal”; and to the instant implementation of the agreements reached.

Later, in a video message on his Telegram, Zelensky said that one of the main topics in the negotiations with Guterres was the evacuation of people from Mariupol. “I think that with the help of the UN it is possible to organize an evacuation mission. Ukraine is ready for these steps,»,— he said, emphasizing that this requires the consent of Russia.

The day before, Vladimir Putin met with Guterres in Moscow. At the talks, Putin said that if Azovstal there are civilians, “then the servicemen of the Ukrainian army are obliged to release them.” The secretary general's office later reported that the Russian president “agreed in principle” on the participation of the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross in the evacuation of civilians from Azovstal.

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Mariupol has been in the war zone almost from the very beginning of the Russian military operation. On April 21, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported that the city had been taken, but Azovstal “the remnants of the nationalist formations” took refuge. Putin ordered to cancel the assault and block the plant. On April 26, during a conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Putin said that Mariupol was “liberated” and “there is no fighting there.” According to Putin, the Ukrainian authorities should give the order to lay down their arms to the soldiers blocked on the territory of the plant.

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