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LIVE – War in Ukraine: kyiv offers Russia talks next to the Azovstal site in Mariupol

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The strategic port of Mariupol, which Moscow claims to have “liberated”, is still resisting Russian forces, says kyiv according to which thousands of Ukrainian fighters continue to fight fiercely to defend the immense Azovstal metallurgical complex. Follow live the latest information.

10:54 p.m.

A meeting between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, US Foreign Minister Antony Blinken and US Defense Minister Lloyd Austin was held Sunday evening in kyiv, according to the Ukrainian presidency.

“The Americans are in kyiv today. They are discussing at this very moment with the president”, declared, in an interview broadcast in the evening on Youtube, an adviser to the Ukrainian president, Oleksiï Arestovitch. This is the first meeting between Mr. Zelensky and representatives of the American administration in Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion on February 24.

8:38 p.m.

Ukraine has offered talks to Russia next to the vast Azovstal metallurgical complex in Mariupol (southeast), where Ukrainian fighters and civilians are still entrenched in a devastated city largely under Russian control, announced Sunday the Ukrainian presidency.

“We have invited the Russians to hold a special session of talks right next to the Azovstal site,” an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Oleksiy Arestovitch, said during a briefing, indicating that he was “waiting for the response” from the delegation. Russian.

5:59 p.m.

Switzerland has vetoed the delivery of Swiss ammunition to Ukraine via Germany, the Swiss economy ministry confirmed on Sunday.

Germany intended to send Swiss ammunition to Ukraine at war and Berlin asked Bern if this delivery was possible, according to the Swiss weekly Sonntagszeitung.

The Federal Ministry of Economics confirmed to the Keystone-ATS news agency on Sunday that it had refused Germany’s request, citing Swiss neutrality and the “imperative criteria of the legislation on war material”. According to Swiss legislation, such a delivery is legally impossible, exports to countries involved in intensive and long-lasting internal or international conflicts being prohibited.

The ministry also underlines that Switzerland requires in principle a declaration of non-re-export of war material, where a country undertakes not to transmit the war material received from Switzerland without its prior agreement. This is a common practice among war material exporting countries to maintain some control over sensitive products.

5:11 p.m.

Thousands of people took part in the traditional march for peace on Sunday, from Perugia to Assisi, in central Italy, demanding an end to the war in Ukraine and the supply of arms, AFP noted.

About 50,000 people, according to the organizers, walked the more than 20 kilometers separating the two cities in a good-natured atmosphere with countless rainbow flags and the slogan, “Stop, the war is madness.”

“With each passing day, the confrontation becomes more violent and the war more inhumane and indiscriminate, destroying any residual space for peace. It is for this reason that we say that it must stop immediately”, underlined the organizers on their site.

“It is not too late, I am convinced that for this war, in this situation, there are still possibilities, possible ways for dialogue, for negotiations. We have to try them all, I don’t have the impression that the arms race, still supplying arms on one side and the other, is the solution, “Brother Marco Moroni told AFP-TV. , guardian of the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi.

“I hope what we all hope for. A world of peace. A world of peace and a world that allows us to think about the other major problems of the world, such as the climate crisis. And the future for young people, ”confided among the walkers Lorenza Bartolotti, 73, a retiree from Ravenna.

“I felt the need to leave, to participate in this march, given everything that is happening in Europe, it seemed natural to me to do it, almost a duty”, explains Luigi Montarsolo, 67, lawyer from Genoa .

A few hours before the arrival of the march in Assisi, Pope Francis had once again called, on the occasion of the Orthodox Easter, celebrated this Sunday, for a truce in the fighting in Ukraine and an end to the attacks against ” exhausted populations.

4:04 p.m.

Just over 23,000 Ukrainian refugees have fled their country over the past 24 hours, which has been stormed by Russian troops for two months to the day and is approaching 5.2 million, according to partially updated figures from the High Commissioner for UN for Refugees published on Sunday.

According to the UNHCR, 5,186,744 Ukrainians have left their country since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, 23,058 more than the figure published on Saturday.

3:41 p.m.

Russia has blocked the American chess website Chess.com at the request of the Russian General Prosecutor’s Office, after the publication of two articles on the situation in Ukraine, described as “false information”. Chess.com is now on the list of blocked sites in Russia, available Sunday on the site of the Russian telecom policeman, Roskomnadzor.

Access was restricted, at the request of the General Prosecutor’s Office, to two Chess.com pages that contained articles critical of the Russian operation in Ukraine, according to Russian news agencies.

12:20 p.m.

The UN calls for an “immediate” truce in Mariupol to evacuate civilians.

07:51

The heads of diplomacy and defense of the United States are expected Sunday in kyiv, the day of Orthodox Easter, the first American visit to Ukraine after exactly two months of a war which is still raging in the east and the south. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Minister Llyod Austin are due to arrive in kyiv on Sunday to discuss US arms shipments to Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Saturday.

The president would like them “even heavier and more powerful” against the Russian army, he said during a press conference in a metro station in downtown kyiv. Poland has already supplied 1.6 billion dollars worth of arms to Ukraine, said its Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

And NATO countries are starting to supply kyiv with S300 missile launchers for its air defenses. But kyiv will also need other sophisticated weapons, including Howitzer howitzers, experts say.

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