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Russia, US set for new call amid burst of Ukraine diplomacy

Published : 01 Feb 2022 10:08 PM

The top Russian and US diplomats were to speak again Tuesday amid intense efforts by NATO allies to prevent an invasion of Ukraine and to show support for Kyiv.

With tens of thousands of Russian troops massed on the Ukrainian border, Tuesday saw another burst of top-level diplomacy to try to head off a major conflict in Europe.

The British and Polish prime ministers were in Kyiv for talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, as Russian President Vladimir Putin met with the Hungarian leader in Moscow and held a phone call with the Italian prime minister.

The flurry of talks were to culminate later Tuesday with a call between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who have been spearheading efforts to find a way out of the crisis.

Putin was also to give a press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban after their talks, and could make his first major comments on the crisis in weeks.

Going in to the meeting with Orban, Putin reiterated that Moscow had sent proposals to Washington for "written commitments" on Russia's demands for security guarantees from the West.

"I would like to assure you that no EU leader wants war or conflict, we are ready for a rational agreement, from the EU side," Orban told the Russian leader.

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