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Ukraine's president outlines demands for talks with Russia


Ukraine’s president reiterated late Wednesday the importance of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity amid ongoing peace talks with Russia.

“My priorities in the negotiations are absolutely clear: the end of the war, security guarantees, sovereignty, restoration of territorial integrity, real guarantees for our country, real protection for our country,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video message released by Ukraine’s Presidency.

Zelenskyy also called on Russian soldiers to lay down their weapons to get a chance to survive.

“Lay down your weapons. It's better than dying on the battlefield, on our land,” he said.

Underlining that Russia continues to commit war crimes in Ukraine, Zelenskyy said: “The Russian economy is still able to maintain their military machine.”

“The world must finally officially recognize that Russia has become a terrorist state,” he said.

He urged the international community to impose new sanctions against Russia and to provide more support to Ukraine to stop the Russian occupation of the country.

The Russia-Ukraine war, which started on Feb. 24, has drawn international condemnation, led to financial restrictions on Moscow and spurred an exodus of global firms from Russia.

At least 726 civilians have been killed and 1,174 injured in Ukraine since the beginning of the war, according to the UN, while noting that conditions on the ground make it difficult to verify the true number.

More than 3 million people have also fled to neighboring countries, said the UN refugee agency.

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