Facts about Russia-Ukraine conflict: Russian, U.S. military chiefs discuss Ukraine over phone-Xinhua

Facts about Russia-Ukraine conflict: Russian, U.S. military chiefs discuss Ukraine over phone

Source: Xinhua| 2022-05-20 14:37:16|Editor: huaxia

BEIJING, May 20 (Xinhua) -- The following are the latest developments in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine:

Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov and U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley held a phone call on Thursday to discuss issues of mutual interest, including the situation in Ukraine.

The conversation was initiated by the American side, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a brief statement, without providing details.

Last week, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin discussed the situation in Ukraine during their first phone conversation since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

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Kiev doesn't support any compromise formula of granting Ukraine European Union (EU) candidate status, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Thursday.

"We do not need surrogates for EU candidate status that show second-class treatment of Ukraine and hurt the feelings of Ukrainians," Kuleba tweeted.

He urged certain EU countries to end their policy of "strategic ambiguity" on Ukraine's European perspective and support granting it full-fledged candidate status.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Thursday he had discussed the European Union (EU) aid for Kiev with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

In his tweets, Zelensky thanked von der Leyen for adopting the second tranche of macro-financial assistance to Ukraine worth 600 million euros (634 million U.S. dollars) and offering a loan for Kiev worth 9 billion euros (9.51 billion dollars).

In the talks, they exchanged views on the "Platform for Reconstruction of Ukraine" proposed by the European Commission, which would pave the way for the EU to assist Ukraine's post-conflict recovery.

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Thursday that there would be no shortcuts to Ukraine's bid to join the European Union (EU).

The European Commission is expected to complete its initial assessment of Ukraine's EU membership application by the end of June, Scholz said in his address to the Bundestag, the lower house of the German Parliament. Not allowing shortcuts on the country's road to the EU, however, is an "imperative of fairness" towards the other countries of the Western Balkans, Scholz said.

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The British government will provide 1.3 billion pounds in military aid for Ukraine, the Ukrainian government-run Ukrinform news agency reported Thursday, citing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

During a phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Johnson said that Britain would supply long-range artillery, shore-to-ship missiles and unmanned drones to Ukraine as a part of its military assistance.

Zelensky and Johnson also discussed ways to address the issue of the blockade of Ukraine's seaports and options to open up critical sea and land supply routes for Ukrainian grain stocks.