LOn Monday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that part of the massive military maneuvers in Russia and Belarus were coming to an end as Westerners feared an immediate invasion of Ukraine by Moscow.
“Exercises are happening, one part is over, another part is coming to an end. Others are still being considered, given the scale of these exercises, which were planned and launched in December, ”he said during a televised meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Possible diplomatic solution
Russia on Monday considered a diplomatic solution to the Russian-Western crisis surrounding Ukraine. “I have to say there is still a chance,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in response to a question from President Vladimir Putin, according to television footage.
“Our possibilities (for dialogue) are not exhausted,” the minister said, proposing to “stretch” and “expand” them, saying there were far fewer attacks than have emerged from Moscow in recent weeks.
“Good,” Mr. Putin responded logically.
For his part, the Ukrainian defense minister welcomed a “positive” telephone conversation with his Belarusian envoy on Monday. In Ukraine, especially amid fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine via Moscow’s ally Belarus.
“I see this as a positive signal and the first step towards effective cooperation,” said Ukrainian Minister Oleksiï Reznikov, who welcomed the meeting, while Belarus is currently conducting joint military exercises with Russia far from the Ukrainian border.
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