London condemns Russia's 'aggressive' rhetoric on Ukraine

By: AFP
Published: 11:03 PM, 23 Dec, 2021
Britain's foreign minister
Caption: London condemns Russia's 'aggressive' rhetoric on Ukraine
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Britain's foreign minister on Thursday condemned the Kremlin's hawkish rhetoric on Ukraine and military build-up near the border of the ex-Soviet nation.

"I condemn the Kremlin’s aggressive and inflammatory rhetoric against Ukraine and NATO," Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement.

She also called troop buildup on the border of Ukraine and in Russian-annexed Crimea "unacceptable".

The Kremlin has grown increasingly insistent that the West and NATO are encroaching dangerously close to Russia's borders.

Moscow presented the West with sweeping security demands last week, demanding that NATO not admit new members and the US not establish new bases in former Soviet countries.

Truss stressed that "NATO is a defensive alliance", praising Ukraine for showing "commendable restraint in the face of Russian provocation and aggression".

Any incursion would be met "with strength, including coordinated sanctions with our allies," Truss said. 

Her statement came after Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said that he saw Washington's willingness to discuss Russia's security proposals as "positive", speaking at his annual end-of-year press conference.

Putin said that Washington was ready for talks at the start of next year in Geneva.

Truss said that the only way for Russia to resolve the issue was through dialogue, adding: "I welcome the fact that Russia has signalled it is willing to enter talks in January." 

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.