Source: Business Insider
Russia's foreign minister urged President Vladimir Putin on Monday to continue talks with the West, saying that negotiations aren't yet exhausted as tensions rise over Ukraine.
During a televised meeting on Monday, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said diplomatic talks with the West "are far from being exhausted" after Putin asked him if it made sense to continue negotiations, according to multiple reports.
"I would propose continuing and intensifying them," Lavrov said of the discussions on security guarantees that Putin seeks from the US and NATO, according to the New York Times. The Russian president responded, "Good," The Times reported.
Lavrov also said discussions "can't go on indefinitely, but I would suggest to continue and expand them at this stage," the Associated Press reported.
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited Kyiv on Monday and will head to Moscow next to continue talks with Putin as Russian troops continue to gather along its border with Ukraine.
"We urgently expect signs of de-escalation from Moscow. Further military aggression would have very serious consequences for Russia," Scholz tweeted. "I absolutely agree with our allies on that. We are witnessing a very, very serious threat to peace in Europe."
US national security advisor Jake Sullivan said on Friday that there's a "credible prospect" Russia could invade Ukraine before the Winter Olympics are set to end on Sunday.
"We are not saying a final decision has been made by President Putin," Sullivan said at a White House press briefing. "What we are saying is that we have a sufficient level of concern based on what we are seeing on the ground, and what our intelligence analysts have picked up, that we are sending this clear message."
Sullivan echoed calls from the Biden administration urging Americans in Ukraine to leave as soon as possible.