Putin says ready for talks on security, NATO concerns

President Putin says Russia is ready for talks on confidence-building measures, but the West needs to heed its main demands.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he is “ready to work further” with the West on security issues to de-escalate tensions over Ukraine, but emphasised the need for the West to heed Russia’s main demands.

He spoke on Tuesday during a news conference following talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Moscow.

Scholz said at the briefing that he agrees with Russia’s assessment that there is still a chance to avert war over Ukraine and that “diplomatic options are far from exhausted”.

Meanwhile, some troops in Russia’s military districts adjacent to Ukraine returned to their bases after completing drills, Russia’s defence ministry was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying, a move that could de-escalate friction between Moscow and the West.

Blinken told Lavrov US needs to see credible de-escalation: State Department

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has told Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov the US has ongoing concerns about Russia’s ability to launch an invasion of Ukraine and needs to see “verifiable, credible, meaningful de-escalation.”

“While further Russian aggression against Ukraine would result in a swift, severe, and united Transatlantic response, we remain committed to the diplomatic path and believe that a window remains to resolve the crisis peacefully,” Blinken told Lavrov, according to the statement.

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