Putin tells British Prime Minister Russia wants talks to curb NATO expansion | Vladimir Putin News
The UK calls on Russia to “defuse tensions” with Ukraine as Moscow seeks to block Kiev’s prospect of joining NATO.
Russian President Vladimir Putin told British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a phone call that Moscow wanted immediate talks with the West to curb any potential NATO expansion to the East.
The call comes amid heightened tensions over the reported Russian military deployment on the Ukrainian border, with the West fearing a military invasion of Moscow. The Kremlin is against Kiev’s potential membership of the Western military alliance – a request the NATO chief rejected, saying “NATO’s relationship with Ukraine is going to be decided by the 30 allies of NATO and Ukraine, no one else ”.
Putin said in Monday’s call that “there was a need to immediately start negotiations with the aim of reaching clear international legal agreements that would prevent NATO’s further eastward expansion and the deployment of weapons that threaten Russia in neighboring states, mainly Ukraine, “according to the Kremlin.
“It was stressed that all this is happening against the background of an active military ‘expansion’ on the territory of Ukraine by NATO countries, creating a direct threat to the security of Russia,” said the Kremlin.
The US intelligence services estimate that Russia could plan a multi-front offensive against neighboring Ukraine as early as next year, involving up to 175,000 troops.
The Kremlin denies its intention to invade and claims the West is plagued by Russophobia. Moscow claims NATO enlargement threatens Russia and violated assurances given to it when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.
For his part, Downing Street said Johnson had conveyed to Putin his “deep concern” over the build-up of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border.
He “reiterated the importance of working through diplomatic channels to defuse tensions and identify lasting solutions,” according to the British government statement.
“The Prime Minister underlined the UK’s commitment to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, and warned that any destabilizing action would be a strategic mistake with significant consequences.”
Johnson’s intervention comes after a two-day G7 meeting in which the group’s top diplomats warned Moscow of “massive consequences” if the former Soviet state was invaded.
Also on Monday, EU foreign ministers imposed sanctions on the Russian private military company Wagner, blacklisting eight people and three companies associated with the group believed to be at the service of the Kremlin’s efforts to “destabilize” Ukraine, Syria, Libya and several African countries.
Then EU ministers signaled that they were ready to impose huge new measures targeting the Russian economy if Russia goes ahead with direct military action.
“Let me say, once again, firmly that the European Union is united in supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell .