Crisis in Ukraine: Russia “is not optimistic” but will continue to talk with the West – as it happened | world news
The Kremlin has said it is open to continuing talks with the United States on European security, but is “not optimistic” about their prospects, after Washington and NATO allies again rejected a key element of Russia’s proposed new post-Cold War security order.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s chief spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, says ‘there isn’t much reason to be optimistic’ after the US and NATO rejected Moscow’s demands of a veto on Ukraine’s membership in a coordinated response on Wednesday.
Moscow needed time to analyze the US document and would “not rush into assessments”, Peskov added.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow’s main concern – the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO – had not been discussed, but that there was hope “for the beginning of a serious conversation on secondary issues”.
“There is no positive answer in this document on the main question,” he said.
Meanwhile, one of Lavrov’s spokesmen appeared to rule out war with Ukraine, in comments that led to a jump in the value of the Russian ruble as investors gained confidence the conflict could be avoided.
“We have already stated several times that our country has no intention of attacking anyone. We consider even the idea of a war between our peoples to be unacceptable,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexei Zaitsev said.
Attention turns again to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has not yet expressed his response and is briefed on the document.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy gave an optimistic assessment of the latest diplomatic maneuvers, noting that his diplomats would meet their Russian, German and French counterparts next month in Berlin.
Ukraine has sought to downplay reports of an impending massive attack by Russia. One of Zelenskiy’s aides told Reuters that “hysteria” bordering on a Russian attack was hampering Kiev’s attempts to borrow from international capital markets.
During a visit to Copenhagen, seeking to enlist the support of NATO member Denmark, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dymytro Kuleba gave his endorsement of the US response to Russia and called for a unified response of the West on economic sanctions.
You can read my summary of the day’s events here: Russia remains open but ‘not optimistic’ on talks with Ukraine
That’s all for today. Thank you for following the Ukraine liveblog.