Political Calendar: Russia-Ukraine conflict drags on, foreign ministers of Afghanistan's neighbors meet again

Next week, the one-month-old conflict between Russia and Ukraine is expected to continue while the foreign ministers of Afghanistan's neighbors are set to meet in China.

Russia-Ukraine conflict to drag on

One month into the Russia-Ukraine conflict, it is still unclear when and how this crisis will end.

The main tasks of the first stage of Russia's "special military operation" in Ukraine have been completed in general, the Russian military said Friday.

"The combat potential of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has been significantly reduced," said Sergei Rudskoy, first deputy chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, adding that their "forces and means will concentrate on the main thing – the complete liberation of Donbass."

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said his country's negotiation process with Russia was very difficult, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry press service reported Friday.

He stressed that the Ukrainian side insisted on a ceasefire, security guarantees and territorial integrity of Ukraine at the talks.

Afghanistan's neighbors to meet again

During a visit to Afghanistan on March 24, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with Acting Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi of the Afghan interim government.

That was the first visit by the Chinese foreign minister since the change of government in Afghanistan in August 2021.

Wang's visit was of great significance, as it would have a positive effect on promoting peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan and upholding peace and stability in the region, said a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

During the Chinese diplomat's visit, the two sides exchanged views on the third Foreign Ministers' Meeting on the Afghan Issue among the Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan to be held in China at the end of this month.

The first such meeting was chaired by Pakistan on September 8, 2021, one day after the Afghan Taliban announced the formation of an interim government in Kabul. The second meeting was held in Tehran, the capital of Iran, on October 27, 2021.

Day by day:

Monday: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz holds a joint news conference with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson after having discussions; U.S. President Joe Biden hosts a special summit with the leaders of ASEAN, a group made up of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Timor-Leste, Thailand and Singapore (to March 29).

Tuesday: The foreign ministers from South and Southeast Asia meet in Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka; UK defense minister Ben Wallace visits his Norwegian counterpart in Arctic Norway (to March 30); the United Nations Human Rights Council holds regular debate on the situation in Ukraine.

Wednesday: A quiet day in politics.

Thursday: German President Frank Walter Steinmeier receives Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer; 27th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting via videoconference.

Friday: Prime Minister of Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba is all set to embark on a three-day official visit to India (to April 3); Iran celebrates Independence Day; the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, pays a state visit to the Republic of Turkmenistan and Kingdom of the Netherlands (to April 7).

Saturday: Argentina marks the 40th anniversary of the start of war over the Malvinas Islands, also known as the Falklands; Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett pays his first official visit to India (to April 5).

Sunday: Serbia holds presidential and parliamentary elections; Hungary holds a general election and a national referendum; Costa Rica holds a presidential election.

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