16:49 / 29.03.2022.

Author: Domagoj Ferenčić

Jandroković says it is important for EU to act in unison as Russia and Ukraine hold peace talks

Parliament Speaker Jandroković in Slovenia

Parliament Speaker Jandroković in Slovenia

Foto: HRT / HRT

The Ukrainian parliament speaker addressed a conference of European Union parliament speakers in Slovenia on Tuesday, where parliament speakers from EU member states discussed the bloc’s response to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

In his address Ukrainian Parliament Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk called on Europe to adopt even stricter sanctions against Russia, as well as for additional military assistance to Ukraine. Representing Croatia in Slovenia was Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković, who had this to say after the meeting: “It is very important for the European Union and its member states to maintain this unity that they have shown in the first thirty days. From all of the bilateral talks I had here, it is clear that everyone here is aware that without unity on this issue, we cannot assume a position. All of us will insist on joint action, and collective thought on how to act. So that we can ensure energy independence and security for the European continent.”

Energy supply is becoming an increasingly divisive issue in the EU, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the government, the central bank and oil giant Gazprom to switch the currency for receiving payment for Russian gas to Rubles by the end of the month. This will apply to the European Union and all other countries that have imposed sanctions against Russia.

And while the EU and other western countries conduct their own cost-benefit analysis of the Washington-led sanctions against Russia, delegations from Russia and Ukraine met in Istanbul today for the first in-person peace talks in three weeks. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow feels that it is important that the decision was made in Kiev to continue to the talks between the two sides, but added that it was still too early to talk about progress being made. Nonetheless, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin announced in Istanbul today that Russia will drastically reduce its military activity near the capital of Kiev and in the nearby city of Chernihiv. Meanwhile, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Moscow's primary goal now is to liberate the Russian-leaning Donbass region.

With the Russian incursion into Ukraine continuing to make forward progress, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had announced his willingness to discuss his country's neutrality in a bid to end the war as soon as possible. Ukraine's neutrality and the upholding of Washington's promise to not expand NATO eastward after the fall of the Soviet Union, are among Moscow's primary demands. In a move away from his initial willingness to discuss Ukraine's neutrality, Zelenskyy said over the weekend that he would not sacrifice his country's territorial integrity.

Addressing claims throughout western media that Russia is open to using nuclear weapons to achieve its goals, Kremlin spokesman Peskov made it clear that Moscow would only consider the use of nuclear weapons if there were a credible threat to Russia's existence. He concluded that regardless of the outcome of the war in Ukraine, this was not a reason for the use of nuclear weapons.

Source: HRT

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