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Monday, May 20, 2024

Ukraine Intensifies Diplomatic Efforts amidst Conflict, Power Outages

Heavy fighting persisted in the country's east and south

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

UKRAINE: On Sunday, President Joe Biden told his Ukrainian counterpart that the United States is prioritising measures to bolster Ukraine’s air defences as President Volodymyr Zelensky escalated efforts to win international backing for the Russian invasion, which is now in its tenth month.

Heavy fighting persisted in the country’s east and south, and drone and missile assaults on crucial power plants, most notably in the Black Sea port city of Odesa, left many Ukrainians in the dark and in the cold.

There have been no peace talks, and there is no indication of an end to the bloodiest fight in Europe since World War Two, which Moscow describes as a “special military operation.” The conflict is seen as an unwarranted act of aggression by Ukraine and its allies.

After talking with the leaders of France and Turkey, as well as with Biden, Zelensky said, “We are continually working with partners,” adding that he expects some “important results” from a series of international summits that will address the situation in Ukraine next week.

On Monday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will convene a virtual meeting with the G7 and EU foreign ministers in an effort to secure agreement on fresh sanctions against Iran and Russia as well as on enhanced aid or military delivery to Ukraine.

While Zelensky has spoken with Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan multiple times since Russian soldiers invaded in late February, the volume of conversations in one day is unusual.

Zelensky said he had spoken with Former President Barack Obama about the necessity of effective anti-aircraft defence systems in Ukraine in order to safeguard the populace and thanked Biden for the “unprecedented defence and financial” assistance the United States had given.

The White House stated that Biden “reaffirmed the United States’ resolve to continue to provide Ukraine with security, economic, and humanitarian assistance, holding Russia accountable for its war crimes and atrocities, and imposing consequences on Russia for its aggression.”

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that Washington’s support for Ukraine’s military and economy — more than $50 billion and counting — would continue “for as long as it takes” and reaffirmed that ending the war was the single best thing the United States could do for the world economy.

Earlier, Zelensky claimed he had “very specific” discussions with Erdogan about securing Ukraine’s grain exports and had a “very meaningful” meeting lasting more than an hour with Macron on “defence, energy, economy, and diplomacy.”

The United Nations and Turkey collaborated on a grain deal in July, allowing Ukrainian ports to resume exports after a de facto six-month Russian blockade. Turkey served as a mediator in peace negotiations in the early months of the conflict.

In a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, as per Erdogan’s administration, the Turkish president demanded that the conflict be resolved quickly.

Meanwhile, Moscow declares that the four territories it claims it annexed from Ukraine in September are now a part of Russia “forever,” showing that it is unwilling to recognise the country’s sovereignty or pre-war borders. The Kyiv government has ruled out giving Russia any land in exchange for peace.

On Saturday, Russian forces attacked two energy plants in the Black Sea port of Odesa using drones made in Iran.

As a result, nearly all non-critical infrastructure in and around the port, which serves about 1.5 million people, was left without power.

Furthermore, as per Zelensky, power supply problems are “extremely difficult” in the country’s center-most Dnipropetrovsk region, the Kyiv region, four regions in western Ukraine, and the capital Kyiv.

Also Read: Ukraine’s Fighting Set to Slow for the Winter Months: US intelligence

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