Ukrainian helicopters fly over a Russian warship  during Sea Breeze 2021 maneuvers, in the Black Sea, Friday, July 9, 2021 - Sputnik International

LIVE UPDATES: Ukrainian President Zelensky Says He's Ready to Talk With Putin

The Montreux Convention was adopted in 1936 to ensure the freedom of passage through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits for merchant ships, both in times of peace and war. In emergency situations, Turkey has the right to prohibit or restrict the passage of military ships through the straits.
On Thursday, Russia announced a special military operation in Ukraine, following the request of the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics to defend them from Kiev aggression, which has intensified in recent weeks in violation of the Minsk accords.
The delegations of Russia and Ukraine agreed at a negotiation on Monday to hold a new round of talks on the Belarusian-Polish border in the next few days, after they "found several points on which you can forecast common position," the Russian side said.
The Russian Defense Ministry stated that Russia does not intend to occupy Ukraine and the troops will leave the country after the operation.
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19:13 GMT 01.03.2022
Ankara Plans No Sanctions Against Moscow to Avoid Losing Communication With Russia
Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said that Ankara did not plan to impose sanctions against Moscow in order to keep the channel with Russia open.
"We must act, taking into account the priorities of our country. There must be an actor than can talk to Russia. Who will talk to Russia when everyone is throwing bridges? We are not planning a package of sanctions to leave this channel open," Kalin told CNN Turk.
19:02 GMT 01.03.2022
Ukrainian President Zelensky Says He's Ready to Talk With Putin
18:37 GMT 01.03.2022
UN Spokesman Confirms US Decides to Expel Russian Staff Member
United Nations spokesperson Stephane Dujarric confirmed on Tuesday that the United States has decided to expel a Russian employee working at the UN Secretariat in New York.
“I can confirm that the US mission to the United Nations informed the Secretariat on 28 February ... of its decision to take action under Section 13 (b) of the UN-US Headquarters Agreement with respect to a staff member in the Secretariat,” Dujarric said when asked to confirm reports of the expulsion of a Russian staffer.
“We regret that we find ourselves in this situation but are engaging with the host country [US],” he added.
Dujarric declined to disclose the name and a position of the affected employee in deference to the privacy of the individual and the “sensitivity of the matter.”
18:30 GMT 01.03.2022
Roscosmos Will Focus on Complete Independence From Imports Under Sanctions
Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin announced the new priorities of the state corporation in the face of Western sanctions, including the goal of achieving complete import independence in matters of space instrumentation.
"In the context of the announced sanctions, Roscosmos will reconsider its priorities and focus on achieving complete import independence in matters of space instrumentation," Rogozin said on Telegram.
In addition, the main design, technological and financial resources released from joint international research projects with the United States and the European Union, which are canceled or frozen under sanctions, will be redirected to the creation of defense and dual-use space systems.
Earlier, US President Joe Biden said that new anti-Russian sanctions would hit the aerospace industry, in particular, to create spacecraft, if possible. US and allied sanctions will limit Russia's imports of high-tech products by 50%, which will have a significant negative impact on "the possibility of modernizing the Russian military industry."
18:24 GMT 01.03.2022
Peskov on Possibility of Putin-Zelenskyy Meeting: Too Early to Draw Such Conclusions
The Kremlin considers it premature to assume that Russian President Vladimir Putin may meet with Vladimir Zelensky as a result of negotiations in Belarus, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Sputnik.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said earlier that the Russian-Ukrainian negotiation process could lead to a meeting between Putin and Zelensky.
"It's too early to make such conclusions," Peskov said, commenting on Lukashenko's words.
18:06 GMT 01.03.2022
Moscow Will Respond to Expulsion of 12 Diplomats From Russian Permanent Mission to UN, Foreign Ministry Says
Moscow will respond to the US expulsion of 12 diplomats from the Russian permanent mission to the UN, the measures will not necessarily be symmetrical, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday.
"As for the expulsion of Russian diplomats, it will not remain without a proper reaction and an answer – not necessarily symmetrical. We advise responsible persons in Washington to think about the consequences of their destructive line," Zakharova said in a statement.
Moscow considers the expulsion of diplomats from the Russian permanent mission to the UN as a step to escalate Russian-US relations, the statement says.
The United States continues the line of completely destroying the foundations of interstate ties and undermining the UN's central role, Zakharova said.
The meaning of what is happening and the moment chosen for this purely hostile action are obvious — to increase pressure, increase blackmail and intimidation in order to weaken Russia's position, to deprive it of the opportunity to fully work on the UN platform, she said.
18:02 GMT 01.03.2022
DirecTV Stops RT America Broadcasting Amid Situation in Ukraine, Media Reports

"In line with our previous agreement with RT America, we are accelerating this year's contract expiration timeline and will no longer offer their programming effective immediately," the largest satellite provider in the United States DirecTV, about 70% of which is owned by AT&T, said in a statement to Reuters.

17:47 GMT 01.03.2022
Pentagon: US Not in Direct Communication With Russian Commanders Amid Conflict in Ukraine
The United States military commanders have not been in direct communication with their Russian counterparts regarding the conflict in Ukraine, a senior US Defense Department official said on Tuesday.
“We are not in direct communication with Russian tactical commanders on the ground [in Ukraine] or involved in this operation. I have no new conversations to speak to either between General [Mark] Milley and General Valery Gerasimov or between Secretary [Lloyd] Austin and [Russian] Minister [of Defense] Shoygu. There has been no communication,” the official said during a press briefing.
17:27 GMT 01.03.2022
Polish Prime Minister Proposes That EU Provides Ukraine With €100Bln Recovery Plan, Embargoes Russian Coal
17:18 GMT 01.03.2022
Zelensky on Prospect of Talks With Russia: 'We'll See'
Vladimir Zelensky said "we’ll see" when asked by CNN on Tuesday whether Russia is ready for "principal things" in peace talks amid the ongoing military operation in Ukraine.
"I think there are principal things you can do and that is very important moment. If you'll do these [things] and if that side is ready, it means that they are ready for peace. If they don't, really it means that we are, you know, just wasting time," Zelensky said during an interview from his alleged bunker in Kiev.
"We’ll see," Zelensky added when asked whether Russia is ready for the "principal things" or Ukraine is wasting time.
17:15 GMT 01.03.2022
Ukrainian President Zelensky Spoke With Biden
Vladimir Zelensky said that he had spoken with US President Joe Biden and discussed sanctions against Russia and defence assistance to Ukraine.
"Just had a conversation with @POTUS. The American leadership on anti-Russian sanctions and defense assistance to Ukraine was discussed. We must stop the aggressor as soon as possible. Thank you for your support!" Zelenskyy said on Twitter.
Later in the day, the White House said that US President Joe Biden spoke by telephone with Vladimir Zelensky and emphasized sustained US deliveries of security assistance and economic support amid the conflict with Russia.
"President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine to discuss the United States’ continued backing for Ukraine as it defends itself against Russian aggression. President Biden underscored the United States’ sustained help for Ukraine, including ongoing deliveries of security assistance, economic support, and humanitarian aid," the White House said in a press release.
Earlier, Vladimir Zelensky called on US President Joe Biden to deliver a special message on Ukraine during his State of the Union speech later on Tuesday.

“Ukraine is the heart of Europe, and now I think Europe sees Ukraine is something special for this world. That's why [the] world can't lose this something special,” Zelensky told CNN and Reuters.
17:11 GMT 01.03.2022
Lukashenko Says 'Very Powerful Forces' Try to Disrupt Russian-Ukrainian Ceasefire Talks
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Tuesday that "very powerful forces" are trying to undermine the negotiation process between Moscow and Kiev.
The delegations of Russia and Ukraine met for talks in Belarus on Monday. Vladimir Zelensky's office said that "the key issue of the negotiations is an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of troops from the territory of Ukraine." After the talks, the parties agreed to hold a new round on the Belarusian-Polish border within the next few days after consultations with the country's leaderships.
"Very powerful forces want to disrupt this process. And I pray to god that Zelensky and his team hold out and do not slide into the breakdown of the negotiation process," Lukashenko said, as quoted by the state-run Belta news agency.
17:03 GMT 01.03.2022
Pentagon Says Can Not Confirm Presence, Use of Thermobaric Weapons in Ukraine
The United States is not able to confirm the presence or the use of Russian thermobaric weapons, also known as vacuum bombs, in Ukraine, a senior US Defense Department official said on Tuesday.
"We have not seen, we cannot confirm that thermobaric weapons are actually in Ukraine and we cannot confirm the use of thermobaric weapons, but we have seen inside Ukraine the kinds of launchers that could be used for those weapons," the official said during a press briefing.
On Monday, Ukraine's Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova claimed Russia had used a thermobaric weapon during its special operation in Ukraine. Markarova did not provide any evidence to support her claim.
16:51 GMT 01.03.2022
UK Introduces Sanctions Against RDIF and Its Chief Kirill Dmitriev – Document
16:50 GMT 01.03.2022
Impossible to Impose Anti-Russia Sanctions Which Can't be Upheld by West, New Sanctions Will Be Considered – German Economy Minister
16:48 GMT 01.03.2022
Canada Bans Russian Ships, Fishing Vessels From Entering Its Ports, Internal Waters – Minister
Canada bans Russian ships and fishing vessels from entering its ports and internal waters, Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra said on Tuesday.

"Today… Omar Alghabra, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly, and the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard Joyce Murray, announced that the Government of Canada intends to ban Russian-owned or registered ships and fishing vessels in Canadian ports and internal waters. The ban is expected to be in effect later this week through orders made pursuant to the Special Economic Measures Act," the statement read.
16:26 GMT 01.03.2022
European Parliament Adopts Resolution Calling For Limiting Imports of Oil and Gas From Russia, New Investments Ban, Disconnection From Swift
16:04 GMT 01.03.2022
Zelensky Says That if NATO Does Not Want to Accept Ukraine Into Alliance, Kiev Needs Security Guarantees
Volodymyr Zelensky, in an interview with Reuters, said Ukraine would demand legally binding security guarantees if NATO closed the door on the country's prospects of joining the alliance.
15:53 GMT 01.03.2022
Ukraine Says Shelled Hit TV Tower Has Hampered TV Broadcasting
Ukrainian media claim that there were two explosions near the TV tower.
15:30 GMT 01.03.2022
Shell Hits TV Tower in Kiev, Ukrainian Media Reports
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