March 17, Friday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Western analysts say Russia’s offensive in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk may be losing steam as Ukrainian troops continue all-out resistance. Russian private military firm Wagner Group and Ukrainian forces are locked in a fierce battle for full control of the Ukrainian stronghold of Bakhmut. 2. Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang has told his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba that Beijing intends to play a constructive role in bringing about a ceasefire between Ukraine and Russia. China’s Foreign Ministry said the two ministers held telephone talks on Thursday. The ministry quoted Qin as saying he had expressed concern about an escalation of the Ukraine-Russia crisis and the possibility of it getting out of control.
3.Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol have agreed to resume the so-called shuttle diplomacy between the leaders of the two countries. Such mutual visits have not taken place in more than a decade.