Russia hints at diplomatic overture in Ukraine crisis: live updates

Picture Ukrainian soldiers trained in Volnovakha district in eastern Ukraine on Thursday. Credit… Brendan Hoffman for The New York Ti...


PictureUkrainian soldiers trained in Volnovakha district in eastern Ukraine on Thursday.
Credit…Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times

PARIS — Even as the Pentagon warned that Moscow was continuing to deploy more forces to its border with Ukraine, Russia’s foreign minister suggested there might be room to negotiate with the United States over at least some questions.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron held a phone call with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin on Friday morning in hopes of easing escalating tensions in Europe.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei V. Lavrov said the recent written US response to his security demands contained “a kernel of rationalityfor a possible compromise on issues such as missile deployments and military exercises.

“If it depends on Russia, then there will be no war,” Lavrov said in an interview with Russian radio. “We don’t want wars. But neither will we allow our interests to be grossly flouted, ignored.

However, Russia has put a wide range of issues on the table – essentially calling for an overhaul of post-Cold War security arrangements in Europe and a withdrawal of NATO forces from Eastern Europe. It is a failure for the United States and its Western allies.

Western officials say Russia’s often contradictory public statements do not square with moves it has taken to place its military threateningly on Ukraine’s borders to the north, south and east .

Thus, the situation remains both a contradiction and a confrontation.

Military forces continued to encircle Ukraine en masse. The Pentagon said that in the past 24 hours more Russian forces had been moved into the area. Meanwhile, the United States and its European allies continued to send weapons to Ukraine as NATO strengthened its defensive positions in Eastern Europe.

At the center of the maelstrom, in Ukraine, the government urged the public to remain calm, downplayed the immediacy of the threat and expressed concern about heightened messages from the West and Russia.

Ukraine’s defense minister delivered a speech to parliament on Friday in which he said there was no more danger of Russian military action today than there is. year, except a buildup of troops in neighboring Belarus, where Russia plans to hold military exercises next month.

As Ukrainian soldiers dug trenches along the snow-covered eastern front, children sledding in the capital, Kyiv. Most people were going about their daily business.

Neither Paris nor Berlin sees the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine with the same urgency as Washington or countries closer to Ukraine, including Poland and the Baltic states.

France has insisted in recent days on the need to “defuse” the crisis to avoid falling into a “self-fulfilling” conflict, fueled by misunderstandings and exaggerated speeches. But he also has stood firm with its NATO allies in the standoff with Russia, proposing for example to send troops to Romania.






Other military or air installations

Russia started to move

troops, armor and advances

anti-aircraft systems in

Belarus, a close ally.

About 130,000 Russian soldiers

were deployed near the

Ukrainian border.

Forces deployed north of

Ukraine could stretch

the country’s forces are dwindling and

threaten its capital, Kiev.

approximate line

separating Ukrainian and

Russian-backed forces.

Nearly 20,000 troops are nearby

two separatist provinces, where

Ukraine is locked in a

fierce war against the Russians

separatists since 2014.

Other military or air installations

About 130,000 Russian soldiers

were deployed near the

Ukrainian border.

Russia started to move

troops, armor and advances

anti-aircraft systems in

Belarus, a close ally.

approximate line

separating Ukrainian and

Russian-backed forces.

Nearly 20,000 troops are nearly two

breakaway provinces, where Ukraine

was locked in a grinding

war with the Russians

separatists since 2014.

About 130,000 Russian soldiers

were deployed near the

Ukrainian border.

Russia started to move

troops, armor and advances

anti-aircraft systems in

Belarus, a close ally.

approximate line

separating Ukrainian and

Russian-backed forces.

Nearly 20,000 troops are nearly two

breakaway provinces, where Ukraine

was locked in a grinding

war with the Russians

separatists since 2014.

About 130,000 Russian soldiers

were deployed near the

Ukrainian border.

Russia started to move

troops, armor and advances

anti-aircraft systems in

Belarus, a close ally.

Nearly 20,000 troops are nearby

two separatist provinces, where

Ukraine is locked in a

fierce war against the Russians

separatists since 2014.


Note: Figures for newly arrived troops in Belarus, parts of Crimea and western Russia are rough estimates.

Mr Macron has long advocated a more conciliatory approach from Russia than the United States or some of its European allies, and he has repeatedly stressed the need to maintain a firm but open dialogue with Moscow.

In A declaration released after their phone call, the Kremlin said “Russia’s main concerns remained unaddressed”.

The Kremlin statement said Mr Putin was still studying the written responses from the US and NATO and “after that he will decide on his future actions”.

Mr Putin has not publicly commented on the crisis since before Christmas, leaving the West to widely speculate on his intentions.

Mr. Biden and Mr. Putin have not spoken one-on-one for a tense period”virtual summit” early December. The Biden administration convened a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Monday, which could lead to a face-to-face debate on Ukraine between the United States and Russia.

Mr. Macron’s attempts to restore relations with Russia have stumbled and his enthusiasm for a rapprochement with Mr Putin has faded in recent years – especially after Aleksei A. Navalny, Mr Putin’s most prominent opponent, was poisoned in one operation later revealed to have been orchestrated by the Kremlin.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Russia hints at diplomatic overture in Ukraine crisis: live updates
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