Austria is ready to mediate between Russia and Ukraine

Austrian President Alexander van der Belen said his country was ready to mediate talks between Russia and Ukraine.

He commented on a joint press conference with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Van der Belen pointed out that Austria, as a neutral state, would “do everything”, including offering its mediation and diplomatic services to “achieve long-term peace”.

For his part, Guterres said he did not believe the peace talks would take place “shortly”. However, he also stressed that “this war will not last forever”.

Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also offered to mediate between Russian and Ukrainian counterparts Vladimir Putin and Vladimir Zelensky.

Slovakia and Poland will help Ukraine become an EU candidate faster

Slovakia and Poland together will help Ukraine gain the status of a candidate for European Union membership as soon as possible, the heads of state of the two countries Andrzej Duda and Zuzana Chaputova were quoted as saying by the DPA.

They announced that they would visit their counterparts from EU countries, who are skeptical about Ukraine’s accession to the bloc.

“It is important for the future of Europe and for the peace of the continent to talk about the future status of Ukraine,” Chaputova said. “This does not mean automatic full membership, for which, of course, certain criteria must be met. But we consider granting candidate status to be completely natural given the difficult situation currently facing Ukraine, “the Slovak president said.

Duda said that Ukraine is not only defending itself but also Europe “against the ambitions and imperial actions of today’s Russia” and Kyiv needs a signal of solidarity. “We know that today it is very important for Ukrainian society to feel accepted by the West,” said the Polish head of state, who is visiting Slovakia.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen recently said that Ukraine would receive a response in June to its bid for membership in the bloc. This process is usually complicated and time-consuming.

Chaputova and Duda praised bilateral co-operation between Poland and Slovakia on the Ukrainian crisis and the agreement between the two countries, which envisions the Polish Air Force guarding Slovak airspace so that Bratislava can send MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine.

After talks with Chaputova, Duda also met with Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger and Parliament Speaker Boris Kolar.

Russia’s deputy foreign minister has discussed bilateral issues with the US ambassador

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and US Ambassador to Moscow John Sullivan discussed bilateral relations today, the Russian Foreign Ministry said, citing Reuters.

“Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov met with US Ambassador to Moscow Sullivan. Many issues on the bilateral agenda were discussed,” the ministry said in a brief statement, without giving further details about their conversation, TASS reported.

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