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Putin says he does not want war

Russia does not want any war and this is why it submitted its proposals on security guarantees in Europe and hopes that their key points will be taken into account during negotiations, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a press conference following his talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday, TASS reports.

The first face-to-face meeting of the two leaders since Scholz took office lasted slightly over three hours and received high marks from both of them: the Russian president noted its business-like atmosphere, while the German chancellor said not a single subject was omitted.

When asked about the prospect of war, Mr Putin told reporters: “Do we want this or not? Of course, not. That is exactly why we put forward proposals for a process of negotiations.”

But the two men clashed when Mr Putin said there was a precedent for war in Europe – the conflict in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s – which he said was waged by Nato against Serbia without UN Security Council approval.

Scholz said the situation was different because there was a danger of genocide by Serbs against non-Serbs, to which Putin said “what was happening in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region was also a genocide, against ethnic Russians.”

Mr Putin also said that Nato had so far failed to address Russia’s “basic” security concerns. He is demanding that the issue of Ukraine joining Nato be addressed now – even through Ukraine is a long way from even starting an application to join the alliance.

Scholz said the build up of troops was “incomprehensible”, but there was still a chance that diplomatic solutions could ease the tensions.

” I expressed that the troop build up is seen as a threat,” Scholz said at the media briefing. “Of course we are very concerned, there are more than a 100,000 Russian troops on the border with Ukraine, and we find this incomprehensible.”

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