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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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Ukraine ready to negotiate with Putin, says Zelenskyy

Demonstrators carry flag and sign march during a rally in support of Ukraine in Santa Monica, California, on February 27, 2022. - Dressed in the blue and yellow of Ukraine's flag hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets worldwide Sunday denouncing Russia's invasion of its neighbor. From Berlin to Baghdad, from Washington to Saint Petersburg, demonstrators chanted "shame" against Russian President Vladimir Putin while others waved banners with slogans like "Putin murderer" or "stop the monster." (Photo by RINGO CHIU / AFP)

Demonstrators carry flag and sign march during a rally in support of Ukraine in Santa Monica, California, on February 27, 2022. - Dressed in the blue and yellow of Ukraine's flag hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets worldwide Sunday denouncing Russia's invasion of its neighbor. From Berlin to Baghdad, from Washington to Saint Petersburg, demonstrators chanted "shame" against Russian President Vladimir Putin while others waved banners with slogans like "Putin murderer" or "stop the monster." (Photo by RINGO CHIU / AFP)

Published Mar 1, 2022

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MOSCOW - Volodymyr Zelenskyy told CNN that he was ready for negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"The world already understands that it is necessary to put the president of the Russian Federation at the negotiating table while they are still ready to sit down at the negotiating table with them, and so do I," Zelenskyy said.

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"First of all, you need to make at least some hints that there will be a complete ceasefire. You can't sit down at the negotiating table when planes are flying and bombing continues," he said.

The Biden administration is concerned Russia might arrest American citizens residing in the country and use them as leverage in retaliation for sanctions imposed over its military operation in Ukraine, NBC News reported on Tuesday, citing US officials.

Moscow might target Americans doing business in Russia, including employees of US companies if they comply with new sanctions, the report said.

Moreover, the Biden administration reportedly has already started notifying major US companies in Russia that President Vladimir Putin might soon start "taking Americans hostage."

The officials said there is no evidence the Biden administration has any specific reasons to believe Russia could resort to such measures but the risk-mitigating discussions involved multiple American national security agencies as well as US Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens.

Concerns that American citizens can be prevented from leaving Russia were among the reasons the State Department urged US citizens to leave the country immediately, the report said.

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On Thursday, Russia began a special operation to demilitarize and "denazify" Ukraine in response to calls for help from the Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics to defend them from intensifying attacks by Ukrainian forces.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the special operation is targeting Ukrainian military infrastructure only and the civilian population is not in danger.

The move sparked condemnation from Western leaders and a wave of sanctions against Russia.

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Meanwhile, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki proposed on Tuesday that the European Union provide Ukraine with a 100 billion euro ($111 billion) recovery plan amid Russia's military operation in the country.

"Ukraine must have hope. We need a recovery plan. For example, 100 billion euros, which would be funded by the EU," Morawiecki told reporters in Warsaw.

On Thursday, Russia began a special operation to demilitarize and "denazify" Ukraine, responding to calls for help from the Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics in countering the aggression of Ukrainian troops. The Russian Defense Ministry said the special operation is targeting Ukrainian military infrastructure only and the civilian population is not in danger. Moscow says it has no plans to occupy Ukraine.

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