Ukraine’s president forms delegation for talks with Russia

By Nazir Aliyev Tayfur


KYIV, Ukraine (AA): Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a decree Monday on the official creation of a delegation for talks with Russia as Ukraine alleges Russian troops committed war crimes in Bucha.

According to a statement by the President’s Office, the decree was signed “to form a delegation of Ukraine to participate in negotiations with the Russian Federation on the preparation and approval of a draft treaty on security guarantees for Ukraine.”

David Arakhamia, the leader of the parliamentary group of the ruling Servant of the People’s Party, who also led the peace talks in Istanbul last week, has been appointed head of the delegation.

The delegation also includes Minister of Justice Denys Malyuska, Adviser to the Presidential Office Mykhailo Podolyak, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov and Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Mykola Tochitsky, as well as lawmakers Andriy Kostin, Dmytro Lubinets and Rustem Umerov.

International lawyer Alexander Malinovsky and diplomat Alexander Chaly were appointed as the experts of the delegation.

The Ukrainian and Russian delegations held their last face-to-face meeting in Istanbul on March 29, after which Arakhamia said they are seeking an international agreement where countries, including Turkiye, would serve as guarantors of Ukraine’s security.

Arakhamia said Saturday that the peace talks between Ukraine and Russia have progressed enough for the leaders of the two warring countries, Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Vladimir Putin, to “conduct direct consultations.”

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s President said Monday in a video address to Romanian lawmakers that what happened in the Ukrainian city of Bucha is a “war crime.”

“I want you to see what I saw in the city of Bucha,” said Zelenskyy, apologizing for the gruesome footage he broadcast.

In the city, located near the capital Kyiv, cars were crushed by tanks and people were tortured, even though there is not all the evidence yet, he noted, adding: “Why did the Russian army do this?”

Zelenskyy claimed that if the Ukrainian army and people did not defend themselves, Russian forces would carry out massacres all over Ukraine just like they did in Bucha.

Russia’s war against Ukraine, which started on Feb. 24, has been met with international outrage, with the European Union, US and UK, among others, implementing tough sanctions on Moscow.

At least 1,430 civilians have been killed in Ukraine and 2,097 injured, according to UN estimates, with the true figure feared to be far higher.

More than 4.21 million Ukrainians have also fled to other countries, with millions more internally displaced, according to the UN refugee agency.

[Photo: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accompanied by Ukrainian soldiers speaks to press during his visit at the town of Bucha, after it was liberated from Russian Army, in Bucha, Ukraine on April 04, 2022. Photographer: Metin Aktaş/AA]

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