Putin rejects accusation of possible invasion of Ukraine Dec 09, 2021 0 0 12345 dpaBerlinAfter weeks of international criticism over a possible Russian incursion into Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin has for the first time personally addressed the allegations following his video summit with US President Joe Biden.Russia is a “peace-loving state,” Putin said at a press conference in Sochi on Wednesday. It was therefore a “provocative question” whether Russia would invade Ukraine, the Kremlin leader said after a meeting Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. During the video summit on Tuesday evening, Biden had strongly warned Putin against a Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to US reports.Putin reiterated after the conversation with Biden that he hoped Russia’s security needs would be taken seriously in the West. He had previously called for an end to NATO’s eastward expansion. Russia sees its security above all threatened should Ukraine become a member of the Western defence alliance.Putin stressed again that Russia would not accept the admission of its neighbour Ukraine into the Western defence alliance NATO.The United States had stated that each country should be allowed to choose its own partners. Putin now said that he saw it that way, too - but that such partnerships should not be at the expense of the security of other countries.“Unfortunately, the NATO bloc has taken the line of confrontation towards Russia,” Putin said. The Western military alliance sees Russia as an adversary. Moscow itself, however, was not looking for confrontation, he said. He hoped that the West would take Russia’s concerns seriously. The roughly two-hour video call also covered the ongoing talks on a new nuclear disarmament initiative between the two largest nuclear powers, the cybersecurity of both countries, as well as Iran’s nuclear programme and other international conflicts.Putin described his negotiations with Biden as “open, factual and constructive” - with the possibility of continuing the dialogue.Biden conducted a videoconference with European allies following his inconclusive summit with Putin, a German government spokesperson said on Wednesday.Biden briefed outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson late on Tuesday, according to Steffen Seibert, Merkel’s spokesperson. The Europeans underlined “their full support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” during that meeting, Seibert said.All participants stressed “the need for Russia to reduce tensions and seek a diplomatic solution, including through the Normandy format for implementing the Minsk agreements,” he added, referring to Ukraine peace efforts mediated by France and Germany. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Biden wants to boost Ukrainian defences against Russia Dec 09, 2021 0 0 Beijing Games diplomatic boycott gains support Dec 09, 2021 0 0 Merkel hands over reins to Scholz Dec 09, 2021 0 0 Boosters could be needed for ‘years to come’, says Pfizer official London People are likely to need Covid-19 booster shots “for a number of years to come”, a Pfizer boss has said. Ben Osborn, country manager for the pharmaceutical firm in the UK, said that it was not yet clear whether future .. Another body found on Polish-Belarusian border amid migrant crisis Warsaw Soldiers found the body of another migrant in Poland’s border region with Belarus, where thousands of people from crisis regions have been stranded in recent weeks in sub-zero temperatures. The soldiers found .. European Commission plans a new policy to deter economic threats Brussels The European Commission wants to set up a new sanctions instrument to shield EU member states from economic intimidation “at a time of rising geopolitical tensions.” European Commissioner for Trade Valdis .. Immigration reforms clear Britain’s Commons amid chaotic scenes dpa London The British government’s flagship immigration legislation has cleared the House of Commons amid chaotic scenes and claims of “anti-democratic” tactics from opposition MPs. MPs gave the Nationality and .. Johnson apologises after reports of Christmas party despite lockdown London British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered an investigation on Wednesday amid claims Downing Street staff broke lockdown rules by holding a Christmas party last year. He told lawmakers he was “furious” about ..