Reports that Russia will invade Ukraine amount to “information terrorism,” said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as parts of the Russian army withdraws after completing exercises at the border with Ukraine. Moscow remains in dialogue with the West, according to the minister.
The US government has named Wednesday as a possible day for a Russian offensive. The Kremlin has always denied having any plans to do so. According to his office, President Vladimir Putin jokingly said when the war should start. Putin said it would be better to talk about each other’s concerns.
Lavrov made his statements after consulting his counterpart Zbigniew Rau of Poland, currently chairman of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). That organization has observers in Ukraine to monitor the conflict between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists in the country’s east. The Minsk agreements, which include a ceasefire, are being violated by both sides.
Lavrov thinks Russia’s demands for security guarantees from the West can also be discussed within the OSCE, but that is pointless; he says if talks with the Americans and NATO do not lead to progress. Instead, his Polish colleague believes the OSCE can act as an “informal platform” for discussion to get out of what he believes to be a deep crisis.