Putin tells Boris Johnson urgent talks needed over Nato’s plans for Ukraine, theguardian.com

Vladimir Putin has told Boris Johnson that he wants immediate talks to secure clear legal agreements that Nato will not expand eastwards. According to a Kremlin readout of the two leaders’ phone call on Monday, Putin said talks were needed to discuss Nato’s future intentions, and to clarify Ukraine’s plans for the east of the country.

The call marked the first time the two men had spoken since October before the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow. Johnson expressed the UK’s “deep concern over the buildup of Russian forces on Ukraine’s border”, and warned him “that any destabilising action would be a strategic mistake that would have significant consequences”. The British prime minister also called for the issues to be resolved through diplomatic channels.

The lengthier readout of the call from the Kremlin cited what it described as specific examples of Kyiv’s destructive disruption of the Minsk agreements, the deal that was supposed to settle the Russian-Ukraine dispute.

Putin alleged that the Ukrainian authorities were deliberately exacerbating the situation on the line of contact, as well as using heavy weapons and attack drones prohibited by the Minsk Package of Measures in the conflict zone. He also claimed Russian-speaking populations were still suffering discrimination inside Ukraine. […]

Putin said he wanted clear international legal agreements that would exclude any further Nato advance to the east, and the removal of weapons that threaten Russia in neighbouring states, primarily in Ukraine. He added that Russia was preparing clear legal documents to support its demands.

The leaders agreed to continue the discussion of the issues raised through various channels. Läs artikel