Facts about Russia-Ukraine conflict: Zelensky says Ukraine's compromises with Russia to be put to referendum

(Xinhua) 13:52, March 22, 2022

BEIJING, March 22 (Xinhua) -- The Russia-Ukraine conflict continues on Monday as relevant parties are working to broker a peaceful solution. Following are the latest developments of the situation:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Kiev's compromises at peace talks with Russia would be put to a nationwide referendum in Ukraine, the government-run Ukrinform news agency reported Monday.

"I explained to all negotiating groups: when you talk about all these changes, and they can be historic, there is nowhere to go -- we will have a referendum," Zelensky was quoted as saying in an interview with the Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne.

Zelensky emphasized that he stands ready for any compromises if they are supported by the Ukrainian people.

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A total of nine captured Russian servicemen has been exchanged for Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fyodorov, marking the first of such swap between Russia and Ukraine, said Kremlin's human rights commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova on Monday.

"The first exchange has taken place -- nine people, some of them from the list that I have been compiling based on reports. I very much hope that we will avoid any delays with these lists, cards, procedures," Moskalkova told the reporters.

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Russia on Monday protested U.S. President Joe Biden's recent "unacceptable remarks" regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it summoned U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan on Monday and handed to him a demarche and a note of protest.

Biden's harsh remarks on Putin have "put Russian-U.S. relations on the verge of breaking," it said, warning that hostile actions against Russia will receive "a decisive and firm rebuff."

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The Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday that it will no longer continue peace treaty negotiations with Japan in response to Tokyo's sanctions against Russia over the situation in Ukraine.

Moscow will also cancel visa-free travel for Japanese citizens to the four disputed Pacific islands, which are known as the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan.

The Russian side is withdrawing from the dialogue with Japan on establishing joint economic activities in these islands, the ministry said in a statement.

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


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