Russia says will not back down in face of US sanctions threats

AFP , Tuesday 1 Feb 2022

Russia's embassy in Washington said Tuesday that Moscow will not back down in the face of US sanctions threats over Ukraine, ahead of a phone call between the top US and Russian diplomats.

Russia Ukraine Crisis
An Ukrainian Military Forces serviceman stands in front of tanks of the 92nd separate mechanized brigade of Ukrainian Armed Forces, parked in their base near Klugino-Bashkirivka village, in the Kharkiv region on January 31, 2022. - (Photo by AFP)

"We are not going to back away and stand at attention, listening to the threats of US sanctions," the embassy said on Facebook, adding that it is "Washington, not Moscow, that generates tensions."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will hold fresh telephone talks on Ukraine Tuesday.

Tensions between the two countries have skyrocketed in recent weeks as the US accuses Moscow of planning an imminent invasion of Ukraine.

The White House said Monday that it is ready to impose sanctions on President Vladimir Putin's "inner circle" if an attack on Ukraine goes ahead.

US President Joe Biden has repeatedly warned Putin of a massive coordinated Western sanctions response should he invade Ukraine.

Russia has massed more than 100,000 troops on Ukraine's borders, with Western countries fearing they could launch an offensive.

The embassy said the troops do "not threaten anyone" and that it is Russia's "sovereign right" to move its armed forces on its territory.

Ahead of the Blinken-Lavrov talk, Moscow sent a letter to Washington on its stance on Ukraine.

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