‘What are you afraid of? I don’t bite': Ukraine Prez Zelenskyy asks Putin to ‘sit down’ for negotiation
Ukraine demanded ceasefire and humanitarian corridors to evacuate citizens during its second round of talks with Russian delegation during the day.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday called for direct talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for the conflict between their countries to end. Zelenskyy, however, resorted to sarcasm while putting forth his proposal, saying “he doesn't bite”, Associated Press reported.
Apparently referring to Putin's February 7 meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron wherein the leaders were seen sitting at far ends of a long, white table, Zelenskyy asked, “Sit down with me to negotiate, just not at 30 metres."
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“I don’t bite. What are you afraid of?” the Ukrainian president said at a news conference, according to the AP report.
Zelenskyy said any kinds of talks between him and Putin are “more important than shots”, adding that it was the “only way to stop the war”.
Zelenskyy's statements come as the Ukrainian delegation at talks with Russian officials called for a ceasefire and humanitarian corridors to evacuate citizens as Moscow's military offensive in its former Soviet neighbour entered into the second week during the day.
The United Nations (UN) said more than one million refugees have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion began, and alerted that the situation is only going to get worrisome.
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Meanwhile, Russia has so far failed to capture Ukraine's capital Kyiv and the country's second-largest city Kharkiv owing to stiff resistance from the former's army. Putin's side has, however, taken over Kherson - a port of Ukraine, situated near the Black Sea.
Heavy shelling by Russian forces continue across Ukrainian cities. A latest report by Reuters said that at least 22 people were killed and four more wounded after Russian airstrikes hit two schools and private houses in Ukraine's Chernihiv region.