Ukraine has rejected a Russian demand for its forces to lay down their arms and leave the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk was quoted as saying by Ukraine’s online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda.
“There can be no question of surrendering or assembling weapons,” she was cited as saying early Monday. “We have already informed the Russian side about this.”
Vereshchuk said Russia should instead let residents leave and deliver humanitarian aid to those who want to stay. Ukraine’s government informed the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross of its stance, she told the outlet.
Biden plans call with European leaders
Biden will host a call with French President Emmanuel Macron, German chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Monday, according to the White House. They planned to discuss a coordinated response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Biden will travel Friday to Warsaw and meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda to talk about the humanitarian and human rights crisis stemming from the invasion, the White House said in a separate statement.
Still, Russian forces didn’t make any major advances Sunday, according to the Institute for the Study of War, which said Moscow’s troops around Kyiv were increasingly establishing defensive positions. More talks on ending the war were expected after Turkey said the two sides had made progress on key points.
Russian ultimatum to surrender Mariupol
The Russian military had delivered an ultimatum for the surrender of Mariupol in southern Ukraine, according to the National Defense Control Center of the Russian Federation as cited by Tass Sunday.
Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev said all armed units of Ukraine must leave Mariupol from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. local time on Monday, according to Tass, after which any fighters remaining would face a military tribunal. It said humanitarian convoys would deliver food, medicine and other essentials to the city.
The Russian statement had demanded a response from Ukraine’s government by 4 a.m. Kyiv time. Ukraine’s government didn’t immediately respond. – Bloomberg