Russia ready for peace talks while warning new world war would include nuclear bombs

by · New York Post

Russia said it was ready Wednesday for the second round of peace talks with Ukraine — while giving a chilling warning that a third world war would certainly involve nuclear weapons.

The invading nation’s “delegation will be in place to await Ukrainian negotiators,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said — as Russian forces continued the devastating air and land assault for the seventh day.

Video footage showed yet another series of brutal bomb blasts Wednesday as Russian forces also claimed to have taken control of the area around Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant, Zaporizhzhia.

Already, more than 2,000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed, the country’s emergency service said — as the number of people fleeing could reach 1 million within hours, the UN refugee agency warned.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba later confirmed his nation’s delegation would be at the peace talks Wednesday, even after President Volodymyr Zelensky had said Russia must “first stop bombing people” for the talks to continue.

Russian dignitaries have signaled that they are open to resuming peace talks with Ukraine as the invasion of the country loses steam.

“Now it’s official. The second round of talks between Ukraine and the occupier will take place today,” a Ukrainian presidential aide also told CNN.

But while the Kremlin put on a more diplomatic public face, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov sent a clear warning to the world just days after his president, Vladimir Putin, put his nuclear forces on high alert.

Lavrov said Wednesday that if a third world war were to take place, it would involve nuclear weapons and be destructive, the RIA news agency reported.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said Russian negotiators are standing by and ready to reopen peace talks.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said there will be no peace talks until Russia stops attacking his people.
Firefighters work to extinguish a fire at the Kharkiv National University building, which city officials said was damaged by recent shelling.

Lavrov has said Russia, which launched what it calls a special military operation against Ukraine last week, would face a “real danger” if Kyiv acquired nuclear weapons.

Lavrov has previously claimed that Russia was trying to stop Ukraine from obtaining nukes, despite Zelensky’s assurances that he had no intentions of doing so.

Peskov also said the Russian government would consider all countries that introduce sanctions on the country to be “de facto unfriendly,” according to CNN.

Vladimir Medinsky has been chosen by the Kremlin to lead the negotiations.
The Kyiv TV tower is attacked by Russian munitions on March 1, 2022.
Sick children and women with their newborn babies in a basement used as a bomb shelter at the Okhmadet children’s hospital on March 1, 2022.

The warning appeared to be just the latest threat from the Kremlin for the West to stay out of the war — as well as an attempted justification for Russia’s aggression.

Meanwhile, Russian forces continued pressing into several major cities — including taking control of the area around Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said Wednesday it had received a letter from Russia saying personnel at the Zaporizhzhia plant continued their “work on providing nuclear safety and monitoring radiation in normal mode of operation.”

According to the Kremlin, all countries that introduce sanctions on Russia are considered to be “de facto unfriendly,”
A woman reacts as people fleeing Ukraine arrive in Slovakia through the border crossing on March 2, 2022.
A map shows the Russian advance through Ukraine.

The letter claimed that “radiation levels remain normal,” the UN watchdog said.

Zaporizhzhia is the largest of Ukraine’s nuclear sites, with six of the country’s 15 reactors.

Russia has already seized control of the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the scene of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986.

The head of the UN watchdog, Rafael Grossi, told a special meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors Wednesday that he is “gravely concerned” by the situation.

He said it’s “the first time a military conflict is happening amid the facilities of a large, established nuclear power program.”

Firefighters work to contain a fire in the complex of buildings housing the Kharkiv regional SBU security service and the regional police.
A resident drives through yesterday’s blast site after an attack targeted the TV tower as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues.

Grossi noted that any action jeopardizing the safe operation of nuclear facilities or the safety of radioactive material “could have severe consequences, aggravating human suffering and causing environmental harm.”

Bombs also continued to rip through the heart of Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv — including the police headquarters — while a 40-mile convoy of tanks and military vehicles pressed ever closer to the capital, Kyiv.

Ukrainian officials were still tallying the feared death toll Wednesday.

Local residents queue to receive food at a hospital.

With Post wires