Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on the West to give immediate security guarantees to defuse a crisis prompted by Russia’s military build-up near Ukraine’s borders.
During his lengthy annual press conference, Mr Putin demanded that Nato abandon military activity in Eastern Europe and not admit Ukraine as a member. He has threatened military measures but denies planning to invade Ukraine.
Ukraine security officials say more than 100,000 Russian troops have been sent close to its borders, and US President Joe Biden has threatened Mr Putin with sanctions if Ukraine comes under attack.
The Russian leader said military measures were not his preferred choice and he expressed hope that talks would take place with the US early next year in Geneva.
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