Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday urged France to continue diplomatic efforts with Russia to enforce its planned humanitarian corridors after Moscow’s-Zamkuwire
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday urged France to continue diplomatic efforts with Russia to enforce its planned humanitarian corridors after Moscow’s evacuation plan failed to let civilians out of the besieged city of Mariupol.
“The initiative of France on humanitarian corridors from Mariupol must be implemented,” Zelenskyy told French President Emmanuel Macron in the latest phone call, according to his tweet.
He also discussed the negotiation process with Russia and “the course and prospects of the importance of security guarantees.”
Officials from the French Presidency told BFMTV news that Zelenskyy also appealed to Macron to work with Moscow for a longer humanitarian truce. The report said that Macron reaffirmed French efforts for a cease-fire and resettling of displaced civilians within Ukraine.
France this week called off the joint humanitarian operation with Turkiye and Greece and international organizations to evacuate the civilians in the southeastern city of Mariupol after Russian President Vladimir Putin deemed it was not possible to implement the plan “at this stage.”
Moscow on its part announced a local cease-fire from Thursday and a humanitarian corridor from Mariupol to Zaporizhzhya via the Russian-controlled port of Berdyansk from Friday at 10 a.m. Moscow time under the aegis of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The Red Cross late on Friday evening announced it was “impossible” to evacuate Mariupol.
Sergei Orlov, deputy mayor of Mariupol, also lamented about the failure of the evacuation process in an interview with BFMTV. He accused Russia of blocking humanitarian convoys, preventing Ukrainians from entering the city, or allowing the trapped residents to leave.
Orlov described the dramatic situation of the inhabitants who are left to starve with a shortage of food, water, and medicine, as shelling by Russian forces has left the city in ruins. He said some people were even forced to eat their pets to survive.
Around 150,000 people are left in a critical state in Mariupol.