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Xi Jinping speaks to Putin, calls for 'negotiation' with Ukraine at high level

Beijing : Russia is ready to negotiate with Ukraine at a high level, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a phone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday. "Russia is ready to negotiate with Ukraine at a high level," Putin said, cited by Sputnik News Agency. Meanwhile, Beijing supports the settlement of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine through dialogue, the Chinese President said. "Recently, the situation in eastern Ukraine has been changing rapidly, which has attracted increased attention from the international community... China supports the settlement of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine through negotiations," Xi was quoted as saying by the CCTV. "China consistently advocates respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, the implementation of the provisions and principles of the UN Charter," Xi pointed out. The Chinese president emphasized that Beijing would cooperate with the international community in building integrated, stable and comprehensive security and ensuring a world order based on the United Nations and international law, according to TASS News Agency.Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had said earlier in the day that Moscow is ready for negotiations on Kiev at any moment. "We are ready for negotiations. At any moment, as soon as the armed forces of Ukraine respond to the call of our president (Vladimir Putin), stop resisting and lay down their arms. No one is going to attack them, no one is going to oppress them, let them return to their families," Lavrov said. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy criticized some European countries for not being fast enough in extending assistance to Ukraine amid tensions. Leaders from a number of countries including the UK, the US, Canada, and the European Union have condemned Russia's military operations in Ukraine. They have also imposed heavy sanctions on Russia. US President Joe Biden on Thursday said that the US will introduce a new wave of sanctions against Russia in a broad effort to isolate Moscow from the global economy. The new package of sanctions aims to cut Russia off from the US financial markets and includes freezing the assets of four major Russian banks, including VTB Bank, the nation's second-biggest bank. Hours after that, President of the European Council Charles Michel said that the EU has made a political decision to impose additional sanctions on Russia over its military operation in Ukraine.

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