Russia softens tone? Lavrov sees chances for talks with West

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This comes amid renewed efforts aimed at defusing the crisis, as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz held talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv….reports Asian Lite News

Russia’s top diplomat has advised President Vladimir Putin to continue talks with the West on the country’s security demands amid tensions over Ukraine, according to media report on Monday.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s suggested that Moscow should maintain a dialogue with Washington and its NATO allies even though they have rejected Russia’s main requests – that the military alliance won’t allow Ukraine and other former Soviet countries to join as members and will roll back its forces from Eastern Europe, reported Al Jazeera.

This comes amid renewed efforts aimed at defusing the crisis, as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz held talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv.

Meanwhile, the finance ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) today said they are ready to collectively impose severe sanctions on Russia in the event of a military invasion by Russian troops into the territory of Ukraine.

“We are prepared to collectively impose economic and financial sanctions which will have massive and immediate consequences on the Russian economy,” the bloc comprised of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States said in a statement.

“We are united in our resolve to protect the sovereignty, territorial integrity as well as economic and financial stability of Ukraine. The G7, together with international financial institutions and in particular the International Monetary Fund (IMF) through its 2020 Stand-by Arrangement, are providing significant financial support to Ukraine,” the statement added.

In the past few months, the West and Ukraine have accused Russia of a troop build-up near the Ukrainian border in preparation for an invasion.

Moscow has denied these accusations, stating that it is not threatening anyone and at the same time expressing strong concerns over NATO’s military activity near the Russian borders.

Moscow has also said Russia has the right to move troops within its national territory. (ANI)

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