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News > World

Russia and Ukraine Await New Round of Negotiations

  • Armed personnel in Donetsk, March 1, 2022.

    Armed personnel in Donetsk, March 1, 2022. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 2 March 2022

Though the first round of negotiations ended without clear breakthrough, Vladimir Medinsky, head of the Russian delegation, said "Most importantly, we agreed to continue the negotiation process."

As the first round of negotiations produced no tangible results, delegations from Russia and Ukraine are expecting the second round of peace talks, which reportedly could take place on Wednesday.


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While the two sides agreed to continue their negotiation process, the world is overwhelmed with handling the spillover from the military conflict, amid the sharp rising prices of gold, oil and agricultural futures, among others.

In the face of the heightened geopolitical tensions, China, together with many other countries and international organizations, has been calling on Ukraine and Russia to broker a solution through negotiations while preventing the conflict from further escalating or even getting out of control.


Fighting continued to expand on Tuesday. A massive Russian airstrike hit the center of Ukraine's second-largest city of Kharkiv on Tuesday, as rockets struck residential areas and buildings of the regional administration, according to Ukraine's State Service for Emergencies.

The same day, the agency reported, Russia attacked the Kiev TV tower, which killed five people and injured five others. Russia would strike the information warfare and psychological operation center of the Ukrainian Armed Forces as well as technological facilities of the Ukrainian Security Service in Kiev with high-precision weapons, said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov Tuesday.

Since the military operation started on Thursday last week, the Russian Armed Forces had destroyed 1,325 Ukrainian military infrastructure objects, Konashenkov said. In addition, 395 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 59 multiple launch rocket systems, 179 field artillery guns and mortars as well as 286 units of special military vehicles had been destroyed.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had vowed to continue the military operation in Ukraine until achieving the main goal of defending Russia from Western threats. "The main thing for us is to protect Russia from the military threat posed by Western countries that are trying to use the Ukrainian people in the fight against our country," Shoigu said Tuesday.

The Russian military is not occupying Ukrainian territory and is taking all measures to preserve the lives and safety of civilians, he reiterated. "I would like to stress that the strikes are carried out only against military targets and exclusively with high-precision weapons," Shoigu said.


Data released Monday by the United Nations Refugee Agency showed that more than half a million people have already fled Ukraine to Romania, Poland, Hungary and other neighboring countries. In the border town of Siret in northern Romania, local government has built a temporary camp -- the largest in Romania -- for Ukrainian citizens entering the eastern European country.

Visiting the Siret border on Monday, Romanian Interior Minister Lucian Bode told the press that more than 74,000 Ukrainians had entered Romania so far, and over 40,000 of them left the country for other destinations. Not only does the military conflict uproot people, it also takes a financial toll.

The Ukraine crisis could spark a ripple effect on economies worldwide, further drive up inflation and cause market turbulence. Due to the deepening conflict between Russia and Ukraine, gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose Tuesday as investors resorted to safe haven demand of gold. The most active gold contract for April delivery rose US$43.1, or 2.27 percent, to close at US$1,943.8 per ounce.

In addition, Chicago Board of Trade agricultural futures continued to rise sharply on Tuesday, led by wheat. Oil prices also jumped to multi-year highs on Tuesday, prompting fears about energy supply disruptions from key exporter Russia. U.S. stocks fell sharply on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average decreasing nearly 600 points as investors nervously monitored the military conflict.

The conflict "would be bad for the world economy, mainly through high oil prices and stock market declines," said Desmond Lachman, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a former official at the International Monetary Fund.

According to South African Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe, the Russia-Ukraine conflict threatens "already battered" economies in Africa and postpones the development Africa wants. The surge of crude oil prices through 100 dollars a barrel following the Russia-Ukraine conflict reflects the pump price in Africa, as the continent has to import oil.

"When it is shooting up because of the conflict somewhere in Ukraine, we pay for the price in the pump... The present situation therefore is affecting us directly. Of immediate effect is the rise of the price of the crude oil that translates into severely high fuel prices of our individual countries," he said.


Though the first round of negotiations ended without clear breakthrough, Vladimir Medinsky, head of the Russian delegation, said "Most importantly, we agreed to continue the negotiation process."

Commenting on the negotiations, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Tuesday that China has always supported and encouraged all diplomatic efforts that are conducive to the peaceful settlement of the Ukraine crisis and welcomes the launch of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine.

China hopes that the two sides will continue the process of dialogue and negotiation and seek a political solution that accommodates reasonable security concerns of both sides, serves common security of Europe and is conducive to lasting peace and stability in Europe, the spokesperson added.

Also on Tuesday, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a phone conversation at request with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. Wang said that the situation in Ukraine has changed rapidly, and that China laments the outbreak of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia and is extremely concerned with the harm to civilians.

Regarding the current crisis, China calls on Ukraine and Russia to find a solution to the issue through negotiations and supports all constructive international efforts conducive to a political settlement, said Wang. As the fighting continues to expand, the top priority is to ease the situation as much as possible to prevent the conflict from escalating or even getting out of control, especially to prevent the harm to civilians as well as a humanitarian crisis, and to ensure the safe and timely access of humanitarian aid, he said.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday stressed diplomatic efforts to solve the ongoing Ukraine crisis. He called for an immediate stop of the conflict in Ukraine and the engaging of diplomatic efforts, among others. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday also called for efforts to end the conflict.

"Now, more than ever, we must intensify our efforts for peace, everywhere," he said. "Soldiers must return to their barracks. Leaders must turn to diplomacy. I urge all those with influence to use it to end this senseless conflict."

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