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Ukraine Calls For Meeting With Russia

Ukraine has called for a meeting with Russia and other members of a key European security group over the escalating tensions on its border.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Russia had ignored formal requests to explain the build-up of troops.

He said the next step was to request for a meeting within the next 48 hours for transparency about Russia’s plans.

Russia has denied any plans to invade Ukraine despite the build-up of some 100,000 soldiers on Ukraine’s borders but with the US saying Moscow could begin with aerial bombardments “at any time” more than a dozen nations have urged their citizens to leave Ukraine.

Ukraine’s ambassador in London, Vadym Prystaiko, has backtracked on comments he made to the BBC in which he said Ukraine was willing to be “flexible” on its ambition to join Nato, which would have been a major concession to Russia but in a subsequent interview he said that Ukraine had a constitutional commitment to join Nato and it depended on the “readiness of Nato itself” whether Ukraine would be admitted.

Ukraine has made a request via the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for Russia to explain its build-up of troops. Under the Vienna Document, of which Russia is party to, OSCE members can ask for information on a member’s military activities.

“If Russia is serious when it talks about the indivisibility of security in the OSCE space, it must fulfil its commitment to military transparency in order to de-escalate tensions and enhance security for all,” Foreign Minister Kuleba said.

However, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, who criticised the “panic” that could spread from such claims, said he had seen no proof that Russia was planning an invasion in the coming days.

On Sunday, he spoke for nearly an hour by phone with US President Joe Biden. The White House said President Biden had reiterated US support for Ukraine, and that both leaders had agreed on “the importance of continuing to pursue diplomacy and deterrence”.


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