Kremlin foreign policy aide Yuri Ushakov has revealed details of the conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden shortly after the phone talks concluded on Saturday evening.
Speaking to reporters during a media briefing, Ushakov revealed that the talks were staged on Washington’s request with the US citing fears of an allegedly imminent ‘invasion’ of Ukraine by Russia. The Putin-Biden talks were originally scheduled to take place on Monday, the official added.
“The conversation came amid an atmosphere of unprecedented hysteria by US officials over Russia’s supposedly imminent ‘invasion’ of Ukraine,” Ushakov stated.
Putin has criticized Western efforts to militarize and “pump” Ukraine full of modern weaponry, and such policies effectively encourage Kiev to try and resolve the conflict in the country’s east by force, Ushakov noted.
“At the backdrop of the allegations regarding the ‘invasion’, conditions are being created for possible provocative actions by the Ukrainian armed forces,”he said.
Russia’s president spoke with Biden about “destructive” policies pursued by the Ukrainian authorities to “sabotage” the Minsk agreements, a major 2015 multinational deal that outlined a roadmap out of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where Kiev forces face off the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. Russia’s president stressed that the Western countries do not put enough “pressure” on Kiev to fulfill the deal, Ushakov noted.
The US president, for his part, mentioned the introduction of potential anti-Russian sanctions over the situation around Ukraine. Still, the sanctions talk was not the centerpiece of the Putin-Biden conversation, and all in all it was constructive and “businesslike,” Ushakov noted.
“Joe Biden mentioned possible anti-Russian sanctions, which was expected given the tense situation around Ukraine. At the same time, this issue was not at the center of the fairly long conversation with the Russian leader,” he said, adding that the two leaders have agreed to continue discussions in the future.
Over the past few months, top Western officials and media have repeatedly accused Moscow of seeking to attack Ukraine, with the allegedly looming ‘invasion’ repeatedly described as “imminent.” No solid evidence to back up such claims, however, has ever emerged.
The latest batch of claims came earlier on Saturday, when multiple media outlets cited anonymous sources who claimed that Moscow could attack Kiev next Wednesday. Moscow has consistently denied the allegations, maintaining it harbors no plans to attack Ukraine or anyone else.