6 Mar 2022 15:40

Putin briefs Erdogan on progress of special military operation to protect Donbas, noting that operation ongoing as planned, in accordance with schedule

MOSCOW. March 6 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have spoken over the phone, the Kremlin press service said.

"Vladimir Putin spoke of progress of the special military operation to protect Donbas, set out essential approaches and assessments in this context, and elaborated on the main goals and tasks set. It was emphasized that the special operation is ongoing according to plan and in accordance with the schedule," the statement said.

"Meanwhile, the Russian Armed Forces are doing everything possible to save lives and ensure security of civilians, and pinpoint strikes are being carried out only at the military infrastructure facilities. In this context, the actions of nationalistic and neo-Nazi formations, which are continuing an intensive shelling of Donbas and using civilians, including foreigners, as a human shield in Ukrainian cities and settlements, are particularly cruel and cynical," it said.

"Russia's willingness for a dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities and with foreign partners in order to resolve the conflict was reaffirmed. At the same time, attention was drawn to the futility of any attempts to drag out the negotiations that is being used by the Ukrainian forces to redeploy their forces and resources. In this regard, it was underlined that the suspension of the special operation is possible only if Kyiv ceases hostilities and meets Russia's well-known demands," the press service said.

The parties "expressed hope that during the next planned round of negotiations Ukrainian representatives will show a more constructive approach, fully taking into account the emerging realities," it said.

Additionally, the presidents of Russia and Turkey noted the importance of maintaining contacts through the diplomatic and military agencies of the two countries. "Vladimir Putin reaffirmed Russia's readiness to provide all necessary assistance for the safe evacuation of Turkish citizens from the areas of hostilities," the statement said.