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Ukraine crisis: US ignored Russia's security concerns, Putin says

Image source, EPA

Russian President Vladimir Putin has told his French counterpart that the West has ignored Russia’s security concerns, amid fears Russia could invade Ukraine.

The US rejected a key Moscow demand that Nato rule out Ukraine joining the defence alliance – but insisted it was offering Russia a “diplomatic path”.

President Joe Biden has warned there is a “distinct possibility” Russia might invade Ukraine next month.

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Russia denies it is planning an attack.

But Mr Putin said the stand-off had not been resolved.

“US and Nato responses did not take account of such key Russian concerns as preventing Nato expansion, non-deployment of strike weapons systems near Russian borders, or returning the alliance’s military potential and infrastructure in Europe to positions existing in 1997”, a Kremlin readout of the call said.

Shortly after Mr Putin’s comments to French President Emmanuel Macron, Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance was ready to increase its presence in eastern Europe to demonstrate its resolve.

Mr Stoltenberg said Russia was deploying thousands of combat-ready troops and missile systems into Belarus, which also borders Ukraine.

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