Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday discussed Moscow’s alleged efforts to ensure the safety of civilians during its military operation in Ukraine, Agence France-Presse reported, citing the Kremlin.
According to a Kremlin statement, the leaders in a phone call talked about “efforts made by Russia on a constant basis to ensure safety of peaceful civilians, including the organization of humanitarian corridors.”
Moscow previously proposed six humanitarian corridors, including three routes leading to Russia. Ukraine said humanitarian corridors out of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol and Sumy that lead to Russia and Belarus were “immoral.”
Meanwhile, Ukraine on Monday denied that an agreement was reached with Russia to form a humanitarian corridor to allow civilians to escape a steel plant in the besieged port city of Mariupol and said Russia continued to attack the plant on April 25 and also hit Ukrainian rail and fuel facilities far from the front lines.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said a Russian announcement on a humanitarian corridor for civilians to leave the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol had been announced unilaterally and did not exist.
“I declare officially and publicly: unfortunately, there are no agreements on humanitarian corridors from Azovstal today,” Vereshchuk said. The corridor that Russia announced “does not provide security, and therefore, in fact, is not a humanitarian corridor,” she said on Telegram.