Ukraine crisis: President Putin asks US, NATO to respond to Russia’s security guarantees demands seriously

Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasised the need for the US and NATO to take Russia`s demands to ensure its security guarantees as seriously as possible and to respond specifically and to the point. In his telephone conversation with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Sunday, the two leaders had an in-depth discussion of the developments around Ukraine as well as developments regarding long-term legal security guarantees for the Russian Federation, said a statement by Kremlin.

Accordingly, Putin noted that “provocations from Ukrainian militants were the reason for the escalation,” adding “Attention was drawn to the modern weapons and ammunition being sent to Ukraine by NATO member countries, which is encouraging Kyiv to pursue a military solution to the Donbas problem.”

“As a result, civilians in the Donetsk and Lugansk people`s republics are suffering and being forced to leave for Russia to save themselves from intensifying attacks,” the statement reportedly said. 

The two presidents found it expedient to step up the search for a diplomatic solution between the foreign ministers and political advisors to the leaders of the Normandy format countries. 

Kremlin further said that these meetings are to help restore the ceasefire and ensure progress in settling the conflict around Donbas.

Biden speaks with Macron, discusses diplomacy

US President Joe Biden spoke with France President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday and discussed ongoing diplomacy and deterrence efforts in response to Russia`s military build-up on the borders of Ukraine, according to a White House press release. Earlier on February 6, both sides had discussed the Ukraine situation over the phone.

It further said, “President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke with President Emmanuel Macron of France today. They discussed ongoing diplomacy and deterrence efforts in response to Russia`s military buildup on the borders of Ukraine.” 

“President Joe Biden spoke today with President Emmanuel Macron of France. The leaders discussed ongoing diplomatic and deterrence efforts in response to Russia`s continued military build-up on Ukraine`s borders, and affirmed their support for Ukraine`s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the White House earlier on February 6 stated.

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On Sunday, Biden also held a meeting of the National Security Council over the situation around Ukraine, wherein, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and other members of NSC were present.

In the past few months, the West and Ukraine have accused Russia of a troop build-up near the Ukrainian border in alleged preparation for an “invasion”. 

Moscow, however, has denied these accusations, stating that it is not threatening anyone and at the same time expressing strong concerns over NATO`s military activity near the Russian borders, which it deems a threat to its national security.

Reiterating its right to move troops within its national territory, Russia has reportedly warned Western countries that military deliveries to Kyiv may encourage the latter to use them against the breakaway Russian-speaking region of Donbas. 

Notably, Moscow`s build-up of around 150,000 troops just over the border from the Donbas region in the east, in Belarus to the north and Crimea to the south, began in the autumn. 

It has claimed that the surge of forces has always been for military exercises and that it poses no threat to Ukraine or any other nation, but has refused to offer any other explanation for the biggest build-up of military might in Europe since the Cold War.

(With Agency Inputs)

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