Ukraine, Briefly

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  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed willingness to adopt a neutral status for Ukraine as part of a peace agreement with Russia, BBC reported. Following an interview with independent Russian journalists, Zelenskyy said that any such agreement would have to be submitted to a referendum in Ukraine. The announcement comes as talks between the two nations are due to restart this week in Turkey. At the same time, the Ukrainian president warned that he would not sacrifice Ukraine’s territorial integrity, NBC News added.
  • Ukraine’s military intelligence warned that Russia is trying to split the country in two to create a Russian-controlled region, according to Al Jazeera. Meanwhile, Luhansk, a Russian-backed rebel territory in eastern Ukraine, says it may organize a referendum on joining Russia, prompting Kyiv to warn that such a vote would be illegal and would elicit a severe international response.
  • Energy ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations rejected the Kremlin’s proposal that “unfriendly” countries pay for Russian gas in rubles, the Associated Press wrote. Economists said that Russia’s move appeared as an attempt to support the Russian currency, which has collapsed against other currencies since Moscow invaded Ukraine last month.

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