Security demands not met, Putin tells Biden, denounces ‘hysteria’

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Russian President Vladimir Putin told United States President Joe Biden Saturday that the U.S. response to Russia’s main security demands had not taken into account key concerns and that Moscow would respond soon. It also denounced U.S. “peak hysteria” surrounding the Ukraine conflict but said the leaders had agreed to continue dialogue.

Speaking after new phone talks between Putin and Biden, the Kremlin’s top foreign policy advisor Yury Ushakov told a conference call: “Hysteria has reached its peak.”

Ushakov said that the U.S. side had requested to arrange phone talks between Biden and Putin Saturday even though such a call had initially been planned for Monday.

The two leaders spoke after Washington warned that an all-out invasion could begin “any day.”

Ushakov complained about the U.S. claims, saying that Americans even released “the date of the Russian invasion.”

“We don’t understand false information about our intentions is passed to the media,” he told reporters.

He said that Putin once again complained that the West has been arming Ukraine and that Kyiv authorities have been “sabotaging” Western-brokered peace agreements to end a yearslong conflict in eastern Ukraine.

At the same time, Ushakov called the one-hour phone talks between the two leaders “balanced and business-like” and added that “the presidents have agreed to continue contacts at all levels.”

Russia is demanding binding security guarantees from the West that includes a pledge to roll NATO forces out of eastern Europe and to never expand into Ukraine.

Washington has flatly rejected the demands while offering to discuss a new European disarmament agreement with Moscow.

Ushakov said Moscow would take into account Biden’s point of view as it prepares to respond to Washington and NATO’s proposals.

“The Russian side will carefully analyse Biden’s concerns.”

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