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23 March, 2022

Russia says Kyiv ‘changing mind’ in peace talks as Putin warned against chemical weapons

German chancellor Olaf Scholz says Putin’s comments on US biological weapons seemed like an ‘implicit threat’

Russia has accused Ukraine of stalling peace talks by making proposals which it claims are unacceptable to the Kremlin as German chancellor warns the Kremlin against using chemical weapons.

Ukraine has said it is willing to negotiate but will not surrender or accept Russian ultimatums.

Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said Ukrainian authorities were backing away from their own proposals at the talks, making it difficult to achieve a breakthrough.

"The talks have started, they are difficult because the Ukrainian side... constantly changes its mind and backs away from its own proposals," he said.

Meanwhile, Germany has in direct talks warned Putin against using chemical weapons in the war, according to the Die Zeit weekly newspaper.

Russian assertions that Ukraine was developing such weapons or that the United States wanted to use them seemed "like an implicit threat that Putin himself is considering using such weapons", the paper quoted Scholz as saying.

"That’s why it was important to me to tell him very clearly and directly: That would be unacceptable and unforgivable," Scholz told Die Zeit.

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