Progress in Ukraine-Russia talks as US sanctions oligarchs

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BORODYANK, Ukraine – Russia and Ukraine agreed on Thursday (March 3) on the need for humanitarian corridors to assist people fleeing Moscow’s eight-day assault, the first visible breakthrough in talks as the United States and Britain imposed new penalties on more billionaires.

Thousands are reported to have died or been injured as the largest attack on a European state since World War Two unfolds, resulting in 1 million refugees, economic damage to Russia, and worries of wider confrontation in the West not seen in decades.

Russian forces, on the other hand, have proceeded to surround and attack Ukrainian cities, including Mariupol, the key port in the east that has been heavily bombarded and has been left without water or power. Officials said they are unable to transport the injured.

Following negotiations at an undisclosed location, Russia stated that “significant progress” had been made, while the Ukrainian side stated that an agreement on assisting ordinary people had been reached, but not the results that Kyiv had hoped for.

Mykhailo Podolyak, Ukraine’s presidential adviser, suggested a temporary stop to conflict in specific regions was also possible.

“That is, not everywhere, but only where the humanitarian corridors themselves will be placed, will it be possible to suspend fire for the length of the evacuation?” he explained.

They had also agreed on the distribution of medications and food to the areas where the most intense combat was taking place. The negotiators will meet again next week, according to Belarusian state news agency Belta.

The West has responded to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion with military aid as well as economic sanctions against the Kremlin and Russians. So far, the fallout has included long lines outside banks, a drop in the value of the rouble, and an exodus of foreign firms.

On Thursday, both the United States and the United Kingdom announced penalties against more oligarchs, bringing them in line with measures issued earlier this week by the European Union.

Alisher Usmanov, the founder of mining company Metalloinvest, was among those there.

His luxury yacht, valued approximately $600 million, was docked in Germany at a Hamburg shipyard. The economic authorities in Hamburg stated that there were no preparations to deliver the yacht to its owner, but provided no other details.

US sanctions have also been levied against Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. According to the White House, visa restrictions would be imposed on 19 Russian oligarchs, their family members, and allies.

Source: CNA

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