After Biden’s warning, Russia says does not want war……

FM Lavrov cools talk of conflict after the US president said Moscow might invade Ukraine in February.

Russia’s foreign minister has said Russia does not want a war after Washington warned Moscow may invade Ukraine next month.

Sergey Lavrov told Russian media on Friday that the Kremlin was not seeking conflict with Kyiv, but restated Moscow would not allow its security interests to be ignored.

On Thursday, the US and NATO responded to Russia’s sweeping security demands that were raised in December after Moscow built up troops near the border with Ukraine.

Primarily, Russia wants NATO to commit to permanently blocking Ukraine from becoming a member of the alliance.

Russia said the replies gave it little cause for optimism because there was “no positive response to the main question”, but could serve as a starting point for talks on “secondary questions”.

Lavrov will talk by phone to his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock later today, Russia’s Interfax news agency reports.

Russia is keen for German regulatory authorities to give the green light to the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline despite the Ukraine crisis.

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