News ID: 319492
Published: 0228 GMT January 18, 2022

Russia: No new talks on Ukraine until West responds to demands

Russia: No new talks on Ukraine until West responds to demands
MAXIM SHEMETOV/REUTERS

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock attend a joint news conference following their meeting in Moscow, Russia, on January 18, 2022.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday that there would be no further negotiations until the West gives it proper answers on sweeping security demands over Ukraine.

Moscow last month put forward a wide array of defence-related demands to NATO and the United States with the aim of stemming Western influence in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, AFP reported.

Those demands were at the centre of a wave of negotiations between Russia and representatives of the United States, NATO, and the OSCE that were held as concerns were mounting that Russia was planning to invade Ukraine. Russia denies plans to invade but has demanded security guarantees from the West.

"We are now awaiting responses to these proposals – as we were promised – in order to continue negotiations," Lavrov said during a joint press conference in Moscow with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.

"Let's hope these talks will continue," Lavrov said.

The West has raised concerns in recent months over a buildup of Russian troops around Ukraine's borders, concerns reiterated by Baerbock in Moscow.

"Over the past few weeks, more than 100,000 Russian troops, equipment and tanks have been deployed near Ukraine for no reason. It's hard not to see that as a threat," she said.

Lavrov said Moscow "cannot accept demands related to military operations on our own territory," adding that Russia is "not threatening anyone.

Russia's security demands included that NATO must not admit any new members – naming in particular Ukraine and Georgia – and said Washington must not establish any new military bases in former Soviet countries.

 

Russia-Belarus military drills

 

Belarus said Tuesday that Russian troops had begun arriving in the country for military drills announced against the backdrop of tensions between the West and Russia.

The Belarusian Defence Ministry said it was hosting the combat readiness drills because of the continuing "aggravation" of tensions "including at the western and southern borders of the Republic of Belarus".

The Defence Ministry said the first part of the exercise would continue from Tuesday until February 9 and focus on speedy troop deployments, securing government and military facilities, as well as joint air force firing drills.

The second stage will take place between February 10 and 20 and centre on efforts to strengthen border defences, the ministry said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
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