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Yermak discusses security issues, strengthening sanctions policy against Russia with advisers to leaders of USA, Britain, France, and Germany

KYIV. May 4 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Head of the President’s Office of Ukraine Andriy Yermak has held a meeting in the form of a video conference with the advisers of the leaders of the United States, Britain, France and Germany, during which they discussed security issues and the strengthening of sanctions policy against Russia, the press service of the President’s Office reported.

"Yermak briefed the interlocutors on the course of events on the front, noting that the most difficult situation remains in southeastern Ukraine, where Russia has concentrated significant forces. He also spoke about the evacuation mission from the Russian-blockaded city of Mariupol, Donetsk region," the report says.

According to the head of the President’s Office, 156 Ukrainian citizens who were sheltering from Russian bombing in the basements of the Azovstal plant finally reached Zaporizhzia on Tuesday and are safe.

At the same time, Yermak noted that Russian troops continue to shell Azovstal, where there are still civilians and wounded military personnel in need of emergency medical care, and stressed the need to make every effort to unblock the people who are at the plant.

"As part of the ongoing dialogue, the sides extended the discussion of future security guarantees for Ukraine. Our state, faced with Russian aggression, is interested in receiving clear and specific guarantees," the President’s Office clarified.

They add that the sides discussed the preparation of the next sanctions package against Russia. The action plan for tougher sanctions, which was worked out by the international expert group Yermak-McFaul, was handed over to Ukraine’s partners.

"The interlocutors agreed that the sanctions pressure on Russia should intensify until it stops its aggressive war and seeks peace," the report stresses.

It is specified that the video conference was attended by Jake Sullivan, national security adviser to the U.S. President, Stephen Lovegrove, national security adviser to the British Prime Minister, Jens Plötner, foreign policy adviser to the German Chancellor, and Isabelle Dumont, the French Ambassador to Ukraine, along with other representatives of the French side.