Day 458 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Russia is preparing a Simulation of an Accident at the Zaporizhzhia NPP according to Kyiv
Day 458 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:
- Kremlin: In order for there to be peace, Ukraine must give up joining NATO and the EU
- An explosion has damaged a Russian oil pipeline building near the border with Belarus
- Kyiv: Russia is preparing a simulation of an accident at the Zaporizhzhia NPP
- Putin seeks rapprochement with Georgia, shocked by anti-Russian protests there
Kremlin: In order for there to be peace, Ukraine must give up joining NATO and the EU
Ukraine's refusal to join NATO and the EU and return to neutral non-aligned status is one of the conditions for achieving peace, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin said in an interview with TASS, BTA reported.
The Deputy Minister noted that Russia's approach to the settlement of the conflict in Ukraine has not changed: it includes "protection of the residents of Donbas, demilitarization and de-Nazification of Ukraine, and removal of threats to Russia's security arising from its territory."
"We are convinced that the settlement of the conflict is possible only with the cessation of hostilities by the Ukrainian army and the supply of Western weapons. In order to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace, Ukraine must return to the neutral non-aligned status written in the declaration for its state sovereignty since 1990 and to give up joining NATO and the EU," Galuzin said.
He added that the new territorial realities created as a result of the realization of the peoples' right to self-determination must be recognized. According to Galuzin, this is an important element of settling the crisis is the protection of the rights of Russian-speaking citizens and national minorities.
Galuzin said the drone attack on the Kremlin on May 3 was carried out by Kyiv without the consent of the West. According to the diplomat, the Western countries have decided to refrain from condemning this act and remain silent.
Mikhail Galizin also said that China is trying to bring Ukraine back to the negotiating table, having "actually condemned the Zelensky regime's terrorist attack against the Kremlin."
An explosion has damaged a Russian oil pipeline building near the border with Belarus
An explosion in Russia's Pskov region, near the border with Belarus, has damaged an administrative building of an oil pipeline, Reuters reported, citing a post on the Telegram of local governor Mikhail Vedernikov.
According to the governor, there were no injuries, and operational services are working at the scene of the incident.
Kyiv: Russia is preparing a simulation of an accident at the Zaporizhzhia NPP
Ukraine's Defense Ministry said Russia was preparing a simulation of a serious incident at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is under the control of pro-Russian forces, in order to thwart Kyiv’s counteroffensive to retake Moscow-occupied territories.
According to Ukrainian intelligence, Russian forces will soon shell the plant and then announce that there is a radiation leak. This would trigger an international investigation during which any hostilities would cease.
The message of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, published on Telegram, added that Russia had prevented the planned rotation of inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency stationed at the plant. Reuters notes that the agency has made no mention of the matter. In February, Russia said Ukraine intended to stage a nuclear incident on its territory, which it would blame on Moscow.
A day of mourning will be declared in Dnipro today for those who died in yesterday's shelling of the hospital in the city, Mayor Boris Filatov announced. Two people died and dozens were injured. The Russian Ministry of Defense claims that ammunition depots of the Ukrainian army were destroyed in this missile attack.
Putin seeks rapprochement with Georgia, shocked by anti-Russian protests there
A week after commercial flights between Georgia and Russia were resumed, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that relations between the two countries warm up further, DPA reported.
"We are ready to make our contribution, we are taking the necessary steps and will continue to do so depending on the reaction of our partners," Putin said of Georgia at a meeting with Russian businessmen last night. However, the Russian president added that he was shocked by the anti-Russian protests in Georgia that greeted the resumption of flights.
Two weeks ago, Putin surprisingly lifted visa requirements for Georgians and allowed Georgian airlines to use Russian airspace. Flights between the two countries resumed last week.
Many Georgians welcomed the resumption of flights with relief, as Russia is home to a large number of Georgian migrants and many have relatives on both sides of the border. However, there were also protests in the capital Tbilisi.
Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili also sharply criticized the course taken by the government, noting that Russia still occupied parts of Georgia. Concessions to Russia will not make the bigger neighbor give up the occupied territories, she told Georgian media last night. Zurabishvili also wished Ukraine success in its fight against the Russian invasion.
Relations between Moscow and Tbilisi have been particularly strained since 2008, when Russia waged war against the small Black Sea country, DPA said. The two countries severed diplomatic relations over the conflict. Moscow still supports the separatist Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and has deployed Russian troops to the region.
The most recent cautious warming of relations between Moscow and Tbilisi suffered a setback in 2019, when riots erupted in the Caucasian republic after a Russian politician appeared in the Georgian parliament.
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