Top Russian diplomat calls for more talks amid escalating Ukraine crisis
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov suggested to President Vladimir Putin that Moscow continue diplomatic efforts as they seek to get security guarantees from the West amid heightened tensions surrounding Ukraine.
“We have already warned more than once that we will not allow endless negotiations on questions that demand a solution today,” the foreign minister said in a televised conversation with Putin, according to Reuters.
“I must say there are always chances,” he added when asked about reaching an agreement.
While the U.S. has proposed ways to lessen military risks, Lavrov told Putin that responses to a letter he sent to NATO and the European Union were “unsatisfactory,” the news service reported.
“I received unsatisfactory answers. None of my fellow ministers responded to my direct message,” he said. “Therefore we will continue to seek a concrete reaction from each country.”
“It seems to me that our possibilities are far from exhausted. … At this stage, I would suggest continuing and building them up,” Lavrov also added, appearing to indicate that a Russian military invasion was perhaps less imminent, Reuters noted.
While Moscow has denied that it intends to invade Ukraine, the U.S. and other allied countries have been concerned about the possibility of an incursion as Russia has amassed more than 130,000 troops along the Ukrainian border.
On Sunday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba announced that Ukraine had asked Russia for a meeting to discuss “its reinforcement & redeployment along our border & in temporarily occupied Crimea” amid the rising tensions.