Hello and welcome back to The Guardian’s live coverage of the war in Ukraine.
I’m Samantha Lock and I’ll be bringing you the latest developments in the next few minutes before my colleagues in London take the reins a bit later.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy has suggested that he is willing to resume talks with Russia, although his senior adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, He clarified that kyiv will not accept any deal with Russia that implies the transfer of territory.
Here’s everything you may have missed:
- Ukraine has suggested that it is ready to resume talks with Russia. Speaking on Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that “the discussions between Ukraine and Russia will certainly take place… under what format I don’t know… but the war will be bloody, there will be fighting and [it] it will only end definitively through diplomacy.” “We want everything back. And the Russian Federation does not want to return anything. That is why the end will be on the negotiating table,” he added.
- However, kyiv has ruled out a ceasefire or concessions to Moscow.. Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak he said that kyiv would not accept any deal with Russia involving the cession of territory. “Any concession to Russia is not a path to peace, but a war postponed for several years. Ukraine does not trade neither with its sovereignty nor with the territories and the Ukrainians living in them, ”he said in a video posted on Twitter on Saturday. Making concessions would be counterproductive for Ukraine because Russia would hit back harder after any break in fighting, he added. “The war will not stop [after concessions]. It will just pause for some time. They will start a new offensive, even bloodier and on a large scale.”
- Russia claims to have taken full control of the besieged city of Mariupol. The last group of Ukrainian soldiers hiding in the Azovstal steel mill has surrendered, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Friday night, marking the end of the three-month siege of the defenders’ last stronghold in Mariupol. “The underground structures in Azovstal where the militants were hiding are now under the full control of the Russian armed forces,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that in total 2,439 Ukrainian fighters have surrendered.
- Moscow is considering handing over Ukrainian fighters captured in Mariupol by Viktor Medvedchuk, a detained ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. “We are going to study the possibility,” said Leonid Slutsky, a senior member of Russia’s negotiating team on Ukraine, speaking from the breakaway city of Donetsk in southeastern Ukraine, the Russian state media agency RIA Novosti reported.
- Zelenskiy described the situation in Donbass as “extremely difficult” in his last national speech, adding that the Russian army is trying to attack Slovyansk Y Severodonetsk, a frontline town now at risk of being encircled where 12 people were killed and 40 others wounded by Russian shelling, regional governor Sergiy Gaiday said.
- Polish President Andrzej Duda arrived in Ukraine to address the Ukrainian parliament. Duda arrived in Ukraine on Saturday and will be the first head of a foreign state to address Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada since the beginning of the Russian invasion.
- Russia has barred 963 Americans from entering the country, including President Joe Biden. The list also includes Secretary of State Antony Blinken, US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and CIA chief William Burns are largely symbolic.
- Biden signed a funding bill that will provide nearly $40bn (£32bn) in aid to Ukraine.
- Zelenskiy met with the Prime Minister of Portugal, António Costa, and described the meeting as “important and significant”. Portugal later announced an agreement to provide 250 million euros ($264 million) in financial aid to Ukraine.
- The The President of Ukraine also had a telephone conversation with the Prime Minister of Italy.Mario Draghi, and said that he emphasized the importance of more sanctions on Russia and the unblocking of Ukrainian ports.
- Russia destroyed a Ukrainian special operations base near Odessa, Ukraine’s main port on the Black Sea, as well as a major cache of Western-supplied weapons in the north Zhytomyr region, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday. There was no confirmation from Ukraine.
- turkish president tayyip erdoganwho has opposed Sweden and Finland join NATO, had phone calls with leaders of the two countries on Saturday and discussed their concerns about terrorist organizations. Turkey surprised its NATO allies last week by objecting to the two countries joining the military alliance, but Western leaders expressed confidence that Ankara’s objections will not stand in the way of the membership process.
- Russia’s state gas company Gazprom halted gas exports to Finland, which rejected Moscow’s demands to pay in rubles for Russian gas after Western countries imposed sanctions over the invasion. Gasum, Finland’s state energy company, said it would use other sources, such as the Balticconnector pipeline, which links Finland with EU member Estonia.
- Canada has imposed sanctions on Russian-born billionaire and newspaper owner Alexander Lebedev.. The former KGB agent owns the British newspapers Evening Standard and Independent.
- The world must help Ukraine to unblock the seaports, otherwise the energy crisis will be followed by a global food crisis.Zelensky said. “Russia has blocked almost all ports and all, so to speak, maritime opportunities for exporting food… There will be a crisis in the world. The second crisis after energy, which was caused by Russia. Now it will create a food crisis.” According
- A second meeting of partner countries will take place on May 23 at the German air base in Ramstein.. Zelenskiy said that he hopes Ukraine will receive more weapons. “To be honest, we have high expectations. I would call it a long-awaited process. We appreciate the great military support provided by various states. We expect a positive result in the supply of MLRS,” he said.
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