Lavrov, Blinken discuss Ukraine, security by via call
As the United States and the rest of the West accuse Russia of planning to invade Ukraine, President Zelensky demands concrete proof of such invasion.
US State Secretary Antony Blinken called his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov to discuss the issue of Ukraine and Moscow's proposals for security guarantees as western fearmongering increases.
The Russian foreign ministry said Saturday a phone call took place between Lavrov and Blinken at the US initiative.
"The minister [Lavrov] stressed that the propaganda campaign launched by the United States and its allies about 'Russian aggression' against Ukraine pursues provocative goals," the ministry said.
Lavrov also accused the Western campaign of encouraging the authorities in Kyiv to sabotage the Minsk agreement and make harmful attempts to resolve the 'Donbas issue' by force.
West ignored Moscow's key security concerns
The Russian foreign minister, during the phone call, said the West's response to Russia's proposals on security guarantees ignored Moscow's key concerns, the Russian Foreign Minister further added.
"As the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry noted, the response of Washington and Brussels to the drafts of the Russian-US treaty and agreement with NATO on security guarantees," which Moscow submitted, ignores key Russian provisions.
These provisions include ones on curbing NATO's expansion and the non-deployment of strike weapons systems near Russia's border, as Russia has been saying since the tensions started altogether.
Lavrov stressed that these issues would be at the center of Moscow's assessment of the documents received from the US and NATO, reminding his US counterpart that any action undermining that indelible Euro-Atlantic security was unacceptable.
Zelensky requests solid proof of Russian invasion
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Saturday there was too much information circulated about the alleged Russian plans to take aggressive action against Ukraine, requesting solid proof of a potential invasion.
"I believe that today there is too much information circulated regarding a full-scale war by the Russian Federation... We understand all the risks. We understand that these risks exist," Zelensky told a press briefing.
"If you or anyone else have any additional information that the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation will 100% start on the 16th [of February], please share this information with us," he demanded.
He added that the intelligence constantly supplies him with large amounts of data, including from the US and its allies, stressing that Kyiv preferred the diplomatic path toward de-escalation.
"We take note of all this information. We are grateful for all this information. But we must clearly analyze all this information... So far, there is no full-scale war in Ukraine today," Zelensky said.