Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart (not seen) following their talks in Moscow on March 16, 2022. (Via AFP)

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the United States is interested in prolonging the military conflict in Ukraine and is hindering what he described as “tough” peace talks between Moscow and Kiev.

“The talks are tough, the Ukrainian side constantly changes its position. It’s hard to avoid the impression that our American colleagues are holding their hand,” Lavrov told staff and students at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations on Wednesday.He added that “the Americans simply see it as disadvantageous for them for this process to finish swiftly,” noting that “they are counting on continuing to pump up Ukraine with weapons.”

Washington “apparently wants to keep us in a state of military action as long as possible,” Russia’s top diplomat added.

On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” aimed at “demilitarization” of the restive Donetsk and Lugansk regions in eastern Ukraine.

In 2014, the two regions declared themselves new republics, refusing to recognize Ukraine’s Western-backed government.

Announcing the operation, Putin said the mission was aimed at “defending people who for eight years are suffering persecution and genocide by the Kiev regime.”

Delegations from Kiev and Moscow have been negotiating since the onset of the Russian military campaign, but apparently no breakthrough has been achieved so far. Kremlin: Russia seeks ‘more substantial’ talks with Ukraine to end conflict

Russia says it would like to have more “substantial” talks with Kiev to end the Ukraine conflict.

Moscow warns of direct clash with NATO

Also on Wednesday, Lavrov warned that sending peacekeeping troops to Ukraine may lead to a direct confrontation between Russia and the NATO military alliance.

“This will be the direct clash between the Russian and NATO armed forces that everyone has not only tried to avoid but said should not take place in principle,” he said.

His remarks came as Poland that shares border with Ukraine last Friday called for deploying an international peacekeeping mission to Ukraine that would be able to defend itself.

Poland expels 45 Russian diplomats

Poland, a key NATO ally, is expelling 45 Russian diplomats over alleged suspicion of working for Russian intelligence as Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has further strained relations between Moscow and Central European countries.

“In total, 45 people with varying diplomatic status… were ordered to leave the territory of the Republic of Poland within 5 days,” Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman Lukasz Jasina said at a news conference on Wednesday, adding that one person had been given 48 hours to leave, calling him particularly dangerous.

He, however, did not give a specific reason for why the alleged spies were being expelled but suggested that they pose an especially grave threat.

The Russian ambassador to Warsaw, Sergey Andreev, who was summoned to the foreign ministry, condemned the accusations leveled against the diplomats as baseless.

He reiterated his country’s right to retaliate against the measures, without elaborating.

Culled from

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *