Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz discussed the situation in Ukraine with a focus on humanitarian aspects in a telephone conversation. This was reported on May 13 in the Kremlin.
The Russian leader spoke about the main tasks of the special military operation to protect Donbass and the measures taken to ensure the safety of civilians. During the conversation, it was mentioned that with the participation of representatives of the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross, civilians were evacuated, who were held by Ukrainian security forces at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol.
“Attention was drawn to the ongoing gross violations of the norms of international humanitarian law by militants professing the Nazi ideology, their use of inhuman terrorist methods,” the message says.
The head of state also assessed the state of affairs at the Russian-Ukrainian negotiations, “which are essentially blocked by Kyiv.”
Earlier, on May 13, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, Minister for the Reintegration of Uncontrolled Territories Irina Vereshchuk said that Turkey had agreed to mediate in the negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv on the evacuation of the military from the territory of the Azovstal plant.
On the same day, the press secretary of the Kremlin representative, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters that the Russian Federation, as part of the negotiations, formulated its conditions and handed them over to the Ukrainian side, but did not receive a response.
Also, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the Ukrainian side in negotiations with Russia assures that it is ready to receive a non-bloc and neutral status, despite public statements.
On March 29, another face-to-face round of Russian-Ukrainian talks took place in Istanbul. Prior to this, the parties held several face-to-face meetings in Belarus. So, they took place on February 28 in the Gomel region, on March 3 and 7 in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Then the negotiations continued online.
Russia continues the special operation to protect the Donbass, the beginning of which Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on February 24. The situation in the region escalated significantly in mid-February due to shelling by the Ukrainian military. The authorities of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics announced the evacuation of residents to Russia and turned to Moscow for help.