ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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Putin accuses Ukraine of stalling ceasefire talks

In this photo taken from video released by the Russian Presidential Press Service, Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks via videoconference at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, on March 16, 2022. (Russian Presidential Press Service via AP, File)
In this photo taken from video released by the Russian Presidential Press Service, Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks via videoconference at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, on March 16, 2022. (Russian Presidential Press Service via AP, File)

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin accuses Ukrainian authorities of stalling talks, but adds that Moscow is ready to search for solutions as he spoke with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

“It was noted that the Kyiv regime is trying in every possible way to stall negotiations, putting forward more and more unrealistic proposals,” the Kremlin says after the phone call.

“Nevertheless, the Russian side is ready to continue to search for solutions in line with its well-known principled approaches,” the Kremlin says.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov calls the phone talks between Putin and Scholz “tough,” but adds that such contacts were still needed.

Peskov says it is still early to talk about an agreement that Russian and Ukrainian negotiators could sign.

“I can only state that the Russian delegation is showing a willingness to work much faster than it is doing now,” he tells reporters.

“Unfortunately, the Ukrainian delegation is not ready to accelerate the pace of talks.”

In talks with Scholz, Putin also stressed that Russian troops were “doing their best” to save civilians including through safe corridors, the Kremlin says, adding that some 43,000 people had been evacuated from the southeastern city of Mariupol on Thursday.

Putin will also speak by phone with French President Emmanuel Macron Friday evening, Peskov said.

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