AA / Kyiv
Ukraine on Monday refused to announce the surrender of its troops in the southern port city of Mariupol at Russia’s request.
“There is no question of talking about surrender or laying down arms”, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk confirmed in the early hours of the morning, in statements reported by the Ukrainian newspaper “Ukrainska Pravda”.
“This is deliberate manipulation and actual hostage-taking,” he added with the Russian request.
The Russian Defense Ministry called on Ukraine to “lay down its arms” in Mariupol and sought a “written response” to its request to protect the city’s population and infrastructure.
“We call on units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, regional defense battalions and foreign mercenaries to cease hostilities, lay down their weapons and enter the territory controlled by Kyiv along humanitarian corridors agreed with the Ukrainian side”, director of Mikhail Mizintsev launched the Russian National Defense Management Center, in a message broadcast by Russia’s Ministry of Defense, relayed by the local agency, “Sputnik”.
“At the same time, we guarantee to all who lay their arms a guarantee of a safe exit from Mariupol and the preservation of their lives,” Mizintsev emphasized.
On 24 February, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine, which was followed by international backlash and the imposition of “tough” economic and financial sanctions on Moscow.
Russia demands that Ukraine abandon all plans to join military entities, including NATO, and maintain total neutrality, which Kyiv considers “interfering with its sovereignty”.
*Translated from Arabic by Wezden Jalsi
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