Turkey has Offered Ukraine and Russia Truce Talks in Istanbul
Turkey to take on the role of mediator between Ukraine and Russia, and truce talks to be held in Istanbul with the participation of the UN. This was suggested by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a telephone conversation with Vladimir Putin.
The situation in eastern Ukraine remains tense, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Grain exports from Ukraine were discussed by Turkish President Erdogan in telephone conversations with the presidents of Russia and Ukraine.
"It is especially important to create a maritime corridor for the export of Ukrainian wheat and other agricultural products," Erdogan's cabinet said in a statement.
The Kremlin has previously said that Putin has expressed readiness to co-operate, in co-ordination with Turkey, to ensure the safe maritime transit of Ukrainian goods.
The situation in Donbas remains tense, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said. "The Russian army is concentrating all its efforts there," Zelensky said in a statement during the night.
The main goal of the Russian forces remains the conquest of Sievierodonetsk, Lysychansk and Sloviansk.
Ukrainian fighters from the Azovstal metallurgical plant face the death penalty, said Yuri Sirovatko, justice minister in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic. He described the Azov Regiment as a terrorist organization. According to him, there are 2,300 fighters from Mariupol on the territory of the unrecognized republic.
Wives, sisters and mothers of Ukrainian fighters at the Azovstal steel plant, dubbed "steel women", have called for an exchange of detainees against Russian prisoners of war.
EU leaders have agreed on a new 9 billion euros in aid to Ukraine, which is likely to be provided to the Kyiv authorities in the form of a low-interest loan.
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