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War in Ukraine: Zelensky open to negotiate, but not in Belarus as Putin wants | War in Ukraine

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Ukraine’s president on Sunday rejected Russia’s offer for talks in Gomel, Belarus, because that country serves as a rear base for the invasion of Ukraine, saying that any other city would suit.

Warsaw, Bratislava, Budapest, Istanbul, Baku. We have offered them all. And any other city would suit ushe said in an online video.

The Kremlin announced on Sunday the arrival in the city of Gomel, in southeastern Belarus, of a Russian delegation ready to discuss with Kiev, on the fourth day of the massive offensive launched by Moscow against Ukraine.

A representative of the Ukrainian government reiterated that his country will only accept real negotiations, no ultimatums.

SWIFT will comply with the sanctions requested by the West

This announcement comes hours after the unveiling of a new range of economic sanctions that Western powers want to impose on Russia. At the top of the list is the exclusion of many Russian banks from the SWIFT interbank platform.

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This SWIFT interbank network – which is at the heart of the discussions surrounding an escalation of the sanctions to be imposed on Moscow – announced late Saturday that it was preparing to implement the new measures decided by the Western powers in the coming days.

A man uses his cell phone in front of an illuminated SWIFT sign.

SWIFT is one of the largest banking and financial messaging networks founded in 1973.

Photo: Reuters/Chris Helgren

Ukraine had been asking since the beginning of the invasion for this kind of measure to isolate Russia as much as possible economically. Western governments are also targeting the Russian central bank to reduce its ability to liquidate its assets.

Concretely, these measures aim to prevent Vladimir Putin from using the 630 billion dollars (about 800 billion Canadian dollars) of foreign currency reserves of the central bank to invade Ukraine and defend the ruble. Russia responded to Western sanctions by announcing asset freezes and nationalization of assets of companies from hostile countries.

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European Union foreign ministers will meet on Sunday evening to discuss additional sanctions.

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