Russian leaders have signaled openness to diplomacy despite reports of a Russian invasion of the Ukraine this week.
On Monday during a televised meeting, Russian leaders hinted at wanting to resolve conflict, amid ongoing negotiations with Western diplomats.
According to All Sides, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, “We warn against endless discussions on issues that need to be resolved today.” Prior to these statements, U.S. intelligence reports revealed that they suspected Russia would invade Ukraine on February 16th. In light of the reports, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskey responded by declaring the 16th and “day of unity.”
However, on Tuesday President Valdimir V. Putin said that the United States was trying to pull Russia into conflict over the Ukraine issue (The New York Times). He also signaled that his government did not want a war and was prepared to engage in peaceful discussions.
Putin added that he wished “dialogue will be continued” over his country’s demands. However, he did not highlight the previous threats made on taking “military-technical” measures if the West did not comply with said demands.
Both Russian and Ukrainian officials have accused the Biden administration of exaggerating the crisis at the Russian-Ukrainian border. Despite this, Russia has amassed more than 100,000 troops at Ukraine’s borders.
Putin said, “Their most important task is to contain Russia’s development. Ukraine is just an instrument of achieving this goal. It can be done in different ways, such as pulling us into some armed conflict and then forcing their allies in Europe to enact those harsh sanctions against us.”
ARTICLE: JILLIAN WEIDNER
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: LIVEMINT.COM