After 21 days of Russian invasion of Ukraine, the United States expressed skepticism on Thursday March 17 about the ongoing talks between Moscow and kyiv to end the war. “On the one hand, we salute Ukraine for remaining at the negotiating table while it is under bombardment at all times, and on the other hand, I have not seen any significant effort on the part of of Russia to put an end through diplomacy to the war it is waging”declared the head of the American diplomacy Antony Blinken, facing the press.
At least 21 killed in strike near Kharkiv
Russian artillery fire killed at least 21 people and injured 25 in the town of Merefa, near the besieged city of Kharkiv on Thursday, the regional prosecutor’s office said. In addition, the remains of a missile shot down over kyiv on Thursday resulted in the death of at least one person, according to the emergency services.
In Mariupol, 30,000 people evacuated in one week
Some 30,000 people have been evacuated from the beleaguered port of Mariupol in a week, city authorities said. Nevertheless, 350,000 civilians remain in Mariupol and “continue to hide in shelters and cellars”warned the town hall on Telegram. “According to initial estimates, around 80% of the city’s housing stock has been destroyed”she added.
The city authorities added that they did not yet know the toll of the bombing of a theater housing “hundreds of civilians”, Wednesday. According to the town hall, “50 to 100 bombs” are dropped by Russian planes on average every day on Mariupol. Moscow denied the bombing of the theatre, attributing it to the Ukrainian Nationalist Azov Battalion.
Russia rejects ICJ decision
The Kremlin on Thursday rejected the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the highest court of the UN, which the day before ordered Moscow to immediately suspend its invasion of Ukraine.
The Kremlin stressed that both sides had to agree for such a decision to be implemented, and that was not the case.
War crimes perpetrators must be ‘accountable’
The perpetrators of war crimes perpetrated in Ukraine, where the Russian army is accused of bombing civilian populations, will have to “accountable” before international justice, the G7 foreign ministers warned on Thursday in a joint statement. They pointed out that the “collection of evidence” was in progress.
Zelensky denounces a new “wall”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky received a standing ovation from the German Bundestag on Thursday morning, before a video intervention in which he urged Germany to tear down the new “Wall” erected in Europe against freedom since the Russian offensive.
No Russian default at this stage
Russia, hit by very heavy sanctions since the beginning of its offensive on February 24, has so far managed to escape default on its debt. JPMorgan Bank announced on Thursday that it had received payment of a $117.2 million interest tranche that was due.
An interview between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping on Friday
US President Joe Biden will speak by phone with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Friday, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the White House announced.