Russia calls West’s fear of Ukraine invasion ‘peak hysteria’

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RRussia denounced the US’ “spike of hysteria” over the Ukraine conflict, but said Russian President Vladimir Putin and US leader Joe Biden had agreed to continue dialogue.

Speaking after further phone talks between Mr Putin and Mr Biden, the Kremlin’s top foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said on a conference call: “The hysteria has reached its peak”, but has added that “the presidents agreed to continue contacts at all levels”.

Mr Ushakov also told Russian news agencies that the conversation with Biden was “balanced and professional”, our correspondent in Moscow. Natalia Vasilyeva reports.

Mr Ushakov said President Biden had requested the call over invasion fears which the Kremlin adviser described as “unprecedented and coordinated American hysteria over the alleged impending Russian invasion of Ukraine”.

He said Biden raised possible sanctions against Russia if investigated “but didn’t dwell on it.”

The statement comes after Mr Putin told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron earlier on Saturday that accusations Moscow was planning to attack Ukraine were ‘provocative speculation’ and could lead to conflict in the former Soviet country. .

In a statement, the Kremlin accused Kyiv’s allies of sending “modern weapons” to the former Soviet country and of not wanting to force Kyiv authorities to implement Western-brokered deals to put end to a simmering conflict in eastern Ukraine.

In his phone call with the Russian leader this afternoon, Joe Biden warned that an invasion of Ukraine would cause “widespread human suffering” and “diminish Russia’s standing” in the global sphere.

In a phone conversation between the two leaders that lasted more than an hour, the US president also warned of “swift and serious costs” if Ukraine were to be invaded.

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