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FireNews : The West ‘has ignored’ Russia’s key security concerns, says Vladimir Putin #FireNews365

For weeks Putin had remained tight-lipped about a possible invasion of Ukraine, making scant public remarks about the crisis and the buildup of tens of thousands of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border.

But speaking at a Tuesday news conference following a five-hour meeting in Moscow with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, the Russian President said: “It is already clear — I informed the Prime Minister about this — that the fundamental Russian concerns were ignored. We did not see an adequate consideration of our three key requirements.”

Putin added that Russia had not seen “adequate consideration of our three key demands regarding NATO expansion, the renunciation of the deployment of strike weapons systems near Russian borders, and the return of the [NATO] bloc’s military infrastructure in Europe to the state of 1997, when the Russia-NATO founding act was signed.”

Diplomats from the US, Russia, Ukraine, NATO and the European Union have been engaged in a flurry of diplomatic activity in recent weeks.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held a phone call Tuesday. Following that call, a senior State Department official said Lavrov did not give an indication that Moscow will de-escalate from the border with Ukraine.
US State Department officials confirmed Monday they had “received a written followup from Russia” to a document of proposals the US sent to the Kremlin last week on how to defuse tensions and pave the way for further security talks in response to Russia’s demands on security.

On Tuesday, however, the Kremlin said that Russia had not yet sent its “main reply” to the US. “There was a mix-up,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in a conference call. “It [the Russian correspondence] regarded a different matter. The main reply on this issue hasn’t been handed over, it’s still being prepared.”

This is a breaking story, more to follow.

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