The second round of Russia-Ukraine ceasefire talks are set to begin later in the day, Russian state news agency TASS reported. Negotiations will likely be held in Belarus again. Uraine’s demands are for an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of Russian troops, TASS reported citing several Ukrainian media outlets.
Russia reportedly demanded that Ukraine recognize the sovereignty of separatist regions and drop its demand that Crimea should be returned.
Ukraine’s EU application accepted
Ukraine’s application to join the EU was formally accepted by the bloc on Tuesday. But the country will not be granted “immediate” membership as requested by President Volodymyr Zelensky. Still, EU nations have mobilized billions of dollars in aid for Ukraine, as fighting with Russian forces stretched into a week.
The Presidents of eight EU states also called on the parliament to immediately grant Ukraine candidate country status, and begin negotiations for its formal entry into the EU, CNN reported.
Early peace talks were inconclusive
The first round of Ukraine-Russia talks took place this Monday, along the Belarusian border. But after five hours of negotiations, there was little headway made in reaching a deal. Still, delegations on both sides had expressed some optimism over reaching an eventual agreement.
Russia has faced increasing international pressure to withdraw its troops. The United States and its allies recently imposed some of the strictest sanctions seen yet against the country, which effectively isolate it from the global economy.
Russia-Ukraine conflict spurs crypto rush
Crypto usage has seen a massive spike in the wake of the Russian invasion. Ukrainian citizens were seen using crypto as electronic payments were suspended in the country, while a crash in the ruble saw Russian trading volumes spike. Ukraine is also soliciting aid through bitcoin and Ethereum- possibly the first government to do so. So far, donations have surpassed $20 million.
Russia’s use of crypto to potentially bypass sanctions has also been a major point of debate. But all the buzz around crypto has seen markets rally. Bitcoin has performed better than global stock markets for nearly a week.
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