BEIJING, May 4 (Xinhua) -- The following are the latest developments regarding the conflict between Russia and Ukraine:
Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Western countries to stop supplying Ukraine with weapons during a telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday.
Putin told Macron about Russia's efforts in the evacuation of civilians from Mariupol, the Kremlin said in a statement.
The Russian president urged Western countries to stop arming Kiev, saying Russia is open to dialogue.
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Putin signed a decree on Tuesday on retaliatory sanctions against individuals and entities in response to their "unfriendly actions" over the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
The measures will be taken in retaliation to "the unfriendly actions of the United States, foreign states and international organizations ... which aimed at illegally depriving Russia, Russian citizens and Russian legal entities of property rights or restricting their property rights," and with the aim of "protecting the national interests of Russia," according to the decree.
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that his country may put the issue of neutral status on a nationwide referendum, the Ukrinform news agency reported Tuesday.
If Russia's desire for Ukraine's neutral status is one of the provisions of the agreements on ending the conflict, "we are ready to consider this neutral status for Ukraine," Zelensky said.
However, the referendum would be possible only after Ukraine receives security guarantees from "specific countries," he added.
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Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Tuesday that Ukraine has received 4.5 billion euros (about 4.73 billion U.S. dollars) in financial international aid since the start of the conflict with Russia, the government press service said.
Over the past week, Ukraine received 500 million dollars in grant funds from the World Bank, Shmyhal said. ■