Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his British counterpart blamed each other’s countries for staying indifferent to Russia-Ukraine crisis.
Russian Minister Lavrov said, “I’m honestly disappointed that what we have is a conversation between a mute and a deaf person. Our most detailed explanations fell on unprepared soil,” Lavrov told media, standing near his British counterpart Liz Truss.
He added that the “facts” presented by his team on the crisis “bounced off” Liz Truss.
Truss challenged Lavrov about his assertion that Russian buildup of its troops and weaponry was not a threat for Ukraine.
She said, “I can’t see any other reason for having 100,000 troops on the border, apart from a clear threat to Ukraine. If Russia is serious about diplomacy, Russians should call back their troops stationed at the border.” Truss also dismissed Moscow’s claim that NATO is undermining the region’s security and protecting Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Russian troops have started a military drill in Belarus to further create deterrence for Ukraine and its allies in the region.
Thousands of Russian troops have launched 10-day military exercises in Belarus from Thursday (Feb 10) while the diplomatic efforts to defuse tension showed little signs of progress.
In Belarus, Russian fighter jets launched air patrols, and Russia’s potent S-400 air defense systems were deployed near the Ukrainian border. Additionally, off Ukraine’s southeastern coast, in the Black Sea and the Azov Sea, Russia is going to hold massive naval exercises, which could block Ukraine’s sea-trade.
Russia, nonetheless, has described all the drills as legal with the promise to accomplish exercises in Belarus by Feb. 20.