Decision on negotiations with Russia is up to Ukraine, EU top diplomat says

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BRUSSELS, Nov 14 (Reuters) – It is up to Ukraine to decide when to enter negotiations with Russia, the European Union’s top diplomat said on Monday, commenting on speculations the West might push Kyiv to start talks with Moscow.

“Ukraine will decide what to do. Our duty is to support them”, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said as he arrived for a meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers in Brussels.

In Other Developments:

KHERSON RECAPTURE

* Zelenskiy said investigators had uncovered more than 400 Russian war crimes and found the bodies of servicemen and civilians in areas of Kherson region freed from Russian occupation.

* Reuters was unable to verify his allegations. Russia denies its troops intentionally target civilians.

* Zelenskiy urged residents of Kherson region to be cautious about the presence of Russian mines.

* Utility companies were working to restore critical infrastructure mined by fleeing Russian forces, with most homes in Kherson still without power and water, officials said.

* Residents held flowers and kissed Ukrainian soldiers who were moving into the right bank of the Dnipro River.

BATTLE

* Zelenskiy said that fighting in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region was “just as intense as they have been in previous days”.

* The Ukraine Armed Forces’ southern command said Russian forces continued to “inflict fire damage on our troops and de-occupied settlements along the right bank of the Dnipro”.

DIPLOMACY

* U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the United States will impose new sanctions on a transnational network of individuals and companies that have been working to procure military technologies for Russia’s war effort in Ukraine. She was speaking on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali.

* Russia on Sunday called for the G20 to stop talking about security and focus on the world’s most pressing socio-economic problems, ahead of a summit set to be dominated by Western criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

* Chinese Premier Li Keqiang emphasised the “irresponsibility” of nuclear threats during a summit in Cambodia, suggesting Beijing is uncomfortable with strategic partner Russia’s nuclear rhetoric, a senior U.S. official said.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi emphasised “further enhancing cooperation in the political, trade and economic fields, including the transport and logistics sector” during a phone call, the Kremlin said on Saturday.

ART

* Renowned graffiti artist Banksy unveiled a work in Ukraine’s Borodyanka, which had been occupied by Russia until April and heavily damaged by fighting in the early days of Moscow’s invasion.

QUOTE

* “We have no electricity, no water, no internet, no communications, no heating. But there are no Russians either. And that’s why we are happy,” said Kherson resident Andrii, who did not give his last name.

Photo courtesy MOD Ukraine

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