Day 63 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Putin promised Negotiations to Guterres, Russia stops Gas for Poland and Bulgaria
Here are the highlights of events in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:
Putin has "hope" for negotiations
Russian President Vladimir Putin told visiting UN chief Antonio Guterres that there is still hope for talks to end the conflict in Ukraine.
"Despite the fact that the military operation continues, we still hope that we will be able to reach agreements through diplomacy. We are negotiating, not rejecting (the negotiations)," Putin told Guterres.
US and NATO allies discussed new military aid to Kyiv
The defense ministers of 40 countries talked at the US Air Force Base in Germany about increasing arms supplies to Ukraine.
The United States and its allies will meet once a month to discuss Ukraine's defense needs, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said.
The United States is urging its allies to provide Ukraine with heavy weapons.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Congress that Putin had shown "no signs" of being "serious" about diplomacy, but by providing Ukraine with the means to fight the invasion, Washington could help "strengthen the position" of Kyiv when it comes to meaningful negotiations.
Germany will send tanks
German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht has announced that Berlin will send “Gepard” anti-aircraft tanks to Ukraine, a major change in the behavior of Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who previously called for a more cautious approach to nuclear Russia.
His reluctance to break with Germany's historic policy of good relations with Moscow drew sharp criticism from Kyiv and sparked tensions with its coalition partners.
The statue of friendship with Russia was demolished in Kyiv
Authorities in Kyiv have demolished a monument symbolizing historical ties between the former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Russia.
"Some effort had to be made, but the Soviet sculpture of two workers - a symbol of the unification of Ukraine and Russia - was dismantled tonight," Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said in a statement on social media.
Problems in Transnistria
Fears of the conflict escalating to Moldova have intensified following a series of bombings in the breakaway and Russian-backed Transnistria region bordering western Ukraine.
Transnistrian authorities say two blasts on Tuesday morning damaged a radio station transmitting Russian stations near the Ukrainian border, and on Monday night the offices of the state security ministry were affected by an alleged grenade launcher attack.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told Moldovan counterpart, Nicu Popescu, that France fully supports the country's territorial integrity "in the face of the risks of destabilization to which it may be exposed".
Gazprom suspends gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria
Russia's Gazprom will suspend gas supplies to Poland via the Yamal pipeline on Wednesday, Polish gas company PGNiG said. "Today, April 26, Bulgargaz received a notification that natural gas supplies from Gazprom Export will be suspended from April 27," the Bulgarian Economy Ministry said in a statement late Tuesday.
"The Bulgarian side has fully fulfilled its obligations and has made all payments required under the current contract, in a timely manner, strictly and in accordance with its terms," the statement said.
More than 8 million refugees are expected
The United Nations says nearly 5.3 million Ukrainians have fled the country since Russia's invasion and warns that another three million could follow by the end of this year.
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