Moscow “no plans” to invade Ukraine

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Moscow has no intention to invade Ukraine, claiming troops are on Russian territory and “pose no threat,” said Russia ambassador Stanislav Osadchiy.

In an interview with CNA, Osadchiy accuses western media of stoking “hysteria” over Ukraine, while Western countries hope to avoid the questions Moscow is posing over “vital issues” concerning European security.

He also claims NATO is trying to approach the Russian border at a distance which “from our point of view, is unacceptable for Russia’s security.”

“We fully understand that if Brussels put forward new sanctions, Cyprus will be obliged to vote in favour… “this will not add warmth” in Cyprus-Russia relations.

“Our bilateral relations may once more be a hostage to foreign geopolitical interests.”

Moscow has accused the West of “whipping up tensions” over Ukraine in a heated exchange at the UN Security Council, as the US warned that Russia’s growing military force of more than 100,000 troops along Ukraine’s borders was “the largest mobilisation” in Europe in decades.

The UNSC met on Monday to discuss Russia’s troop build-up, the first in a series of high-stakes meetings and talks planned this week to defuse the Ukraine crisis.

“From the US, NATO, and EU, we even heard specific dates predicting Russia’s start of a ‘military offensive’.

“Russian troops are stationed in their own territory and pose no threat,” said Osadchiy.

He said even Ukraine’s President Zelensky “appears to have been scared by so much tension, and was forced to call on everyone to calm down, trying to persuade even US President Joe Biden, that the Ukrainian side has no information; pointing to preparations for an offensive.”

“If it depends on the Russian Federation, there will be no war.”

Asked about efforts for a permanent ceasefire, the ambassador said that all of them failed due to the Ukrainian side, as reported by the OSCE special monitoring mission.

Moscow expects the US and European countries to force Kyiv to implement the Minsk Agreements.

As for the US initiative to bring the discussion on Ukraine at the Security Council, Osadchiy says that there has been no case in the past of presenting “unfounded fears by any countries, invented by the countries themselves, with empty claims.”

He also said the West is selective in emphasising the right of countries to join alliances like NATO for their security.

“This cannot be accepted,” he says, adding that every state has a right to security, not just NATO members.
The US secretary of state Tony Blinken and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, are due to talk on Tuesday. (source CNA)