Russia sees “no desire on the part of Ukraine” of trying to find a legitimate and balanced solution to the problems between the two countries, Gennady Gatilov, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, said in an interview with Lebanese television broadcast on Tuesday.
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Gatilov stated that Russia “supports diplomacy based on respect for the positions of all countries and equality, but for now we don’t see it,” the Russian news agency RIA quoted him as saying in the interview.
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The Russian and Ukrainian negotiators held a first round of talks on Monday after the Russian invasion of their neighbor on February 24, however, they did not achieve substantial progress, limiting themselves to agreeing on a new meeting. No date was set for a second round.
Gatilov also said that the time had come to withdraw nuclear weapons from Western and Eastern Europe, according to RIA.
Apart from Russia, the other European nuclear-armed powers are France and the United Kingdom, both NATO members along with the United States, which possesses the bulk of the transatlantic alliance’s nuclear arsenal and has forces stationed in Europe.
Before invading Ukraine, Russia had made sweeping demands on NATO, insisting that it reverse its eastward expansion begun after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, the Soviet-led military alliance, and also commit to never accept Ukraine’s application for membership.
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