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Liz Truss: Russia told UK it has ‘no plans to invade Ukraine’

The British foreign secretary said she has received assurances from her Russian counterpart that Moscow has “no plans to invade Ukraine.”

Liz Truss met for talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow Thursday as part of a diplomatic campaign by the West to persuade Russia from launching an attack against Ukraine. This is the first visit to Russia by a British foreign secretary in more than four years.

Speaking at a joint press conference, Truss said Lavrov had told her that the Kremlin has “no plans to invade Ukraine” but London needs to see this “followed up by actions.”

“I can’t see any other reason for having 100,000 troops stationed on the Ukrainian border apart from to threaten Ukraine, and if Russia is serious about diplomacy they need to move those troops and desist from the threats,” she added.

In response, Lavrov described Western “demands to remove Russian troops from Russian territory” as “regrettable” and said talks with Truss are “like speaking to a deaf person who listens but does not hear.”

Truss accused Russia of “attempting to destabilize Ukrainian democracy” through “hybrid warfare and amassing over 100,000 troops on the border in a threatening manner.”

She insisted “there is still time for Russia to end its aggression towards Ukraine and pursue the path of diplomacy” adding that “NATO is very clear that if that path is not chosen there will be severe consequences for Russia, Ukraine and the whole of Europe.”

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