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14 Feb, 2022 11:28

Putin summons top officials to Kremlin amid war fears

The Russian president’s meeting with top-tier cabinet members was announced on Monday, but its purpose has not yet been disclosed
Putin summons top officials to Kremlin amid war fears

Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to meet with his ministers of defense and foreign affairs on Monday, the Kremlin has announced, without revealing the agenda for the talks.

Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov shared the timing of the appointment with journalists earlier the same day, adding that “we will show you the meetings, they will be available to you.”

Asked whether the Russian leader would be making public Moscow’s response to Western proposals on security guarantees, issued earlier this year, Peskov replied, “let’s wait for the meetings, and then it will become clear what they’re about. There’s no need to get ahead of ourselves.”

He also noted that Putin is set to meet with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday amid a worsening split between Moscow and the EU in recent weeks.

With the West voicing fears for months that Russia could be planning an invasion of neighboring Ukraine, the two sides have been negotiating proposals designed to de-escalate the situation and boost security in Europe.

Russia delivered its written demands in December, calling for, among other things, a guarantee that NATO, the US-led military bloc, would not expand into Ukraine.

Western negotiators have said that any such deal is off the table. Earlier this month, the bloc sent its own written response to Russia, proposing measures that would increase transparency about each side’s military plans. Last Thursday, Putin said that Russia was still preparing its reply.