Ukraine welcomes 'efforts' by West, Russia to ease tensions

By: AFP      Published: 09:31 PM, 11 Jan, 2022
Ukraine welcomes 'efforts' by West, Russia to ease tensions
Ukraine welcomes 'efforts' by West, Russia to ease tensions.

Ukraine on Tuesday said it welcomes "efforts" by the West and Russia to ease tensions over Ukraine after a week of high-stakes diplomacy kicked off in Geneva this week.

"We can only welcome the intent and efforts of the United States and Russia, and NATO and Russia to reduce tensions and resolve all mutual issues at the negotiating table," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's spokesman Sergiy Nykyforov said in a video statement sent to AFP.

Tensions around Ukraine have escalated in recent months, as Washington and Kyiv's European allies accuse Russia of threatening the former Soviet country with invasion.

Moscow has demanded wide-ranging security guarantees from Washington and its NATO allies and insists it had been promised that the bloc would not expand to Ukraine and Georgia.

After negotiations in Geneva on Monday, Russian and US officials offered to keep talking, but there was no breakthrough.

"We trust our partners and their statements that no decision on the fate of Ukraine will be taken behind our back," Nykyforov said in the statement.

Kyiv is "interested in resolving the conflict" in the east of the country "as soon as possible" and "especially by peaceful means", he said.

Russia has put intense pressure on Ukraine since 2014 after a revolution overthrew a government that had sided with the Kremlin against closer ties with Europe.

Russia seized the Crimean peninsula and backs an insurgency in eastern Ukraine in which more than 13,000 people have died.

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.