Zelenskyy calls for ‘meaningful’ talks with Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked for peace talks with Russia to be “meaningful, fair and without delay” to stop the invasion of his country.

“I want everyone to hear me now, especially in Moscow. The time has come for a meeting, it is time to talk,” Zelenskyy said in a video message shared on Telegram early Saturday morning. “The time has come to restore territorial integrity and justice for Ukraine. Otherwise, Russia’s losses will be such that it will take you several generations to recover,” he added.

“Meaningful negotiations on peace, on security for us, for Ukraine — are the only chance for Russia to reduce the damage from its own mistakes,” he said in the video, which was apparently filmed in the dark streets of Kyiv at night.

Previous rounds of talks have so far been unsuccessful.

Zelenskyy also said that his government had decided to “reboot” custom services to allow more goods to enter the country and support its defense operations, slashing the “bureaucracy, all paperwork, VAT, all custom duties.”

He said work is ongoing to “intensify the supply of humanitarian goods to Ukraine, primarily to help internally displaced people.” He added that 9,000 people were able to evacuate the besieged city of Mariupol. Its theater, where people were sheltering from shelling, was bombed earlier this week.

“We have always insisted on dialogue, we have always … offered solutions for peace,” the Ukrainian president said. “I will continue to appeal to the nations of the world to call for peace for Ukraine.”

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