Ukraine welcomes February talks with Russia to defuse crisis

By: AFP
Published: 07:12 PM, 27 Jan, 2022
Russia Ukraine conflict
Caption: Ukraine welcomes February talks with Russia to defuse crisis.
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Ukraine on Thursday welcomed Russia's plans to continue talks in early February as "good news" and a sign that Moscow was intent on finding a diplomatic solution to the current crisis.

Global concerns are growing over a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine, as tens of thousands of Russian troops have been stationed at the border in recent weeks.

Senior Russian and Ukrainian officials met on Wednesday in Paris with representatives of France and Germany.

"The good news is that advisors agreed to meet in Berlin in two weeks, which means that at least for the next two weeks, Russia is likely to remain on a diplomatic track," Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told reporters in Copenhagen after talks with his Danish counterpart.

He noted that while there were "no big changes" after Wednesday's meeting, "the agreement to continue discussions is good".

Nonetheless, he called for the West to strengthen its military and defence cooperation with Kyiv.

"While I am a big fan of soft power, I'm afraid that this is really the time for hard power to be used".

"A strong Ukraine is the best deterrence measure in itself".

He also commended the US administration for "consulting with us before they speak with the Russians".

But he recalled that Kyiv "will not allow anyone, even our friends, to impose any concessions on us" and insisted it was up to Russia to make concessions.

Meanwhile, Denmark on Thursday announced an aid package of 550 million kroner ($83 million, 74 million euros) for Ukraine between 2022 and 2026.

"Every country can do something if it has political will. And when it doesn't, it finds excuses to do nothing", Kuleba said in a thinly-veiled swipe at Germany, which has refused to provide weapons to Ukraine.

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.