Zelensky Reportedly Seeks ‘Direct Talks’ With China To Help End Ukraine War

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Ukraine is seeking an opportunity to speak “directly” with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to help end his war with Russia, President Volodymyr Zelensky has said, the South China Morning Post reported on Thursday. Follow the FRANCE 24 live blog for the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).

9:08 am: UN nuclear watchdog asks for access to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia power plant


The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog has asked for access to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, now controlled by Russian forces, to determine if it was a source of danger.

Contact with the largest nuclear plant in Europe, which is in Zaporizhzhia and is being operated by Ukrainian technicians, was “fragile” and communications did not work every day, said the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, to the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger.

“We cannot afford faulty communication with the plant in security-relevant areas. We know of reports that live ammunition is stored at the plant, that there are attacks on the power plant,” he said in an interview published in German. “Frankly, if I don’t have access, I can’t determine that. There are contradictions between the accounts from the Russian and Ukrainian sides. I receive information, I also mention it in my situation reports, but I have no way of determining if it corresponds to the facts.”

A Russian-installed official in Ukraine said on Wednesday that Ukrainian forces had repeatedly used Western weapons to attack the plant, which has two of the six operating reactors and has been the subject of repeated warnings from Ukraine, the West and Russia.

8:15 am: Russian troops shell towns near Kharkhiv

Ukrainian authorities in the east said several cities have been shelled in recent hours, including in the Kharkhiv region. In the Donetsk region, Kyiv has launched mandatory evacuations due to heavy shelling. But many refuse, saying they have nowhere else to go.


President Volodymyr Zelensky says that the country will not surrender to Russia.

President Volodymyr Zelensky says that the country will not surrender to Russia. © Efrem Lukatsky / AP

7:45: Ukraine warns of a new Russian offensive in the south

On the battlefield, Russian forces engaged in considerable military activity, firing from tanks, cannons and artillery rockets in various parts of Ukraine, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said on Thursday. Ukraine said that Russia had begun to create a strike group in the direction of Kryvyi Rih and may be preparing new offensive operations in southern Ukraine.

The steel-producing city of Kryvyi Rih, where Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky grew up, lies about 50 km (30 miles) from the southern front line, between the Russian-occupied city of Zaporizhzhia and Mykolaiv.

2:00 am: Zelensky allegedly seeks ‘direct talks’ with China to help end Ukraine war

Ukraine is seeking an opportunity to speak “directly” with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to help end his war with Russia, President Volodymyr Zelensky has said, the South China Morning Post reported on Thursday.

In an interview with SCMP, the Ukrainian leader urged China to use its enormous political and economic influence over Russia to end the fighting.

“It is a very powerful state. It is a powerful economy… Therefore, it can influence Russia politically and economically. and chinese is [also a] permanent member of the UN Security Council,” the report quoted Zelensky as saying.

00:34: US Senate passes resolution ratifying Sweden and Finland membership in NATO

The US Senate on Wednesday ratified the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO, strongly backing the expansion of the transatlantic alliance in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Senate voted 95-1 for the two Nordic countries to join, making the United States the 23rd of 30 NATO countries to formally endorse it so far, after Italy approved it on Wednesday and France on Tuesday.



© Graphic studio France Médias Monde

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)



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