Ukraine, Russia report little progress in talks

A woman holding a child cries after fleeing from the Ukraine and arriving at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, Monday, March 7, 2022. 

LVIV, Ukraine — Both Russia and Ukraine say they’ve made a little progress during a third round of talks and Russia’s top negotiator says the corridors are expected to start functioning Tuesday.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said without elaboration Monday that “there were some small positive shifts regarding logistics of humanitarian corridors” to allow civilians to flee some besieged Ukrainian cities. He said that consultations will continue on ways to negotiate an end to hostilities.

Russia’s top negotiator Vladimir Medinsky, said he expects that humanitarian corridors in Ukraine will finally start functioning Tuesday. He said no progress has been made on a political settlement, but voiced hope that the next round could be more productive.

“Our expectations from the talks have failed, but we hope that we would be able to make a more significant step forward next time,” Medinsky said. “The talks will continue.”

Efforts to set up safe passage for civilians over the weekend fell apart amid continued shelling. But the Russian Defense Ministry announced a new push Monday, saying civilians would be allowed to leave the capital of Kyiv, Mariupol and the cities of Kharkiv and Sumy.

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MADRID — U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman says that getting military materiel for Ukrainians to fight a Russian invasion is set to become more difficult for the U.S. and its allies.

“I think that the international community has been tremendously responsive and have found ways to get the materiel in. That may become harder in the coming days, and we’ll have to find other ways to manage this,” Sherman said Monday during a visit to the Spanish capital for meetings with officials.

The Biden administration is considering how to fulfill Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s request for warplanes, the official said, considering that Ukrainians would only be able to operate soviet-era warplanes provided by Poland.

“People are trying to see whether this is possible and doable,” she said, adding that the warplanes should not be regarded by Moscow as direct involvement in the conflict: “We would expect that this delivery would be seen as all the deliveries have been seen as a right for Ukraine to defend itself.”

Sherman met in Madrid with Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares and other officials. She arrived from Turkey and was on her way to Morocco, Algeria and Egypt for a week of intense diplomatic contacts amid the war in Ukraine.

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