Russian ambassador denies accusations of invasion plans, says Moscow is committed to diplomacy

Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov on Sunday denied accusations from Western governments that Moscow is planning to invade Ukraine as tensions increase in the region.

“There is no invasion. There is no such plans,” Antonov said while appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” 

“Russia has publicly … declared its readiness to continue the diplomatic efforts to resolve all outstanding issues,” Antonov added. “Russian troops are on sovereign Russian territory. We don’t threaten anyone.”

Host Margaret Brennan pushed back against Antonov’s characterization of Russia’s military actions, pointing out that there are thousands of Russian troops along Ukraine borders with Belarus and Moldova as well as Ukrainian separatists backed by Moscow.

Antonov shot back that the U.S. has “so many military bases” around the world and Russia has significantly fewer. He argued that Russia’s military actions are not violating any legally binding norms.

Brennan also questioned if Russia’s recent actions were an attempt to gain recognition of its annexation of Crimea. Antonov responded by saying the “issue of Crimea” was “solved” and that the region was Russian territory, though the international community has yet to recognize it.

Antonov further stated that Donbas, the eastern Ukrainian region occupied by Russia-backed separatists, is Ukraine’s territory.

It was reported that Russian commanders had been given orders to proceed with an invasion of Ukraine by CBS News national security correspondent David Martin on Sunday, shortly after Antonov’s interview was taped.

Tags Contemporary history Politics of Crimea Russian irredentism Russo-Ukrainian War Ukraine
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