The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has stated that Russia does not want a war in Europe. “If we want war? Of course not,” said the head of the Kremlin, commenting on the current tension on the border between Russia and Ukraine.
For his part, the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholzhas stated that the withdrawal of some Russian military units from Ukraine’s borders is a “good sign, but there should be more” to defuse tension.
“That we now hear that some units will be withdrawn is a good sign. We hope there will be more,” Scholz told a joint news conference after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin for about three hours.
“Diplomatic possibilities are far from exhausted,” Scholz said. “It should be possible to find a solution. No matter how difficult and serious the situation seems to be, I refuse to say that it is hopeless,” he added.
“We are perhaps facing the most difficult and threatening crisis in Europe for a long time,” he said.
Scholz explained that Putin has informed him about his meeting on Monday with his foreign ministers, Sergei Lavrovand Defense, Sergei Shoigú, where the former indicated that there is a possibility of an agreement with the US and NATO on the security guarantees that the Kremlin demands of the West in order to reshape Europe’s security system.
The German chancellor requested that this dialogue “does not end in a dead end”, because “it would be” a catastrophe for all”.
Almost simultaneously the Duma Russia approved an appeal to Putin to recognize the independence of the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Luganskin eastern Ukraine.
In favor of the resolution, presented by the communist parliamentary group, 351 deputies voted, out of the 450 that make up the Duma.
Scholz considers that the resolution adopted by the Duma would be equivalent -if the Russian president listened- “to disregarding” the Minsk Agreements for peace in Donbas. “Then the process would be over and that would be a political catastrophe,” he added.
Shortly before the vote in the Duma, the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, indicated that “it is no secret to anyone that Russian public opinion reacts strongly to everything that happens in Donbas”, where pro-Russian separatists have been fighting since 2014. supported by Moscow and the Ukrainian Army.
Russia has issued more than 700,000 passports to citizens of these two regions.
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