Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the beginning of a special military operation on Thursday in order to defend the people of Donbass, and “demilitarise and denazify” Ukraine.
“It’s not a beginning of war, it is prevention of a situation that could lead to global military confrontation. It is also the end of the war that was being carried out [in Donbass],” Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said in an interview, as she addressed the special operation in Ukraine authorised by President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.
The spokeswoman added that it was the US who refused to engage in further dialogue with Russia.
“Today, on this very day, the official Russian delegation, headed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, was supposed to be in Europe. Europe keeps making all kinds of accusations against us. The Russian delegation was supposed to be there for talks with their US counterparts headed by the US Secretary of State Mr. Blinken … it was the American side that refused to conduct further negotiations,” Zakharova said.
She clarified that the negotiations between Russia and the US were to focus on global security and stability among other issues.
The delegations were also to discuss the situation in Ukraine, according to Zakharova. The US’s official message to Russia was about Washington’s unwillingness to conduct negotiations. This took place before Moscow started the special operation in Ukraine, she said.
Earlier, she said that the evacuation of Russian diplomatic institutions in Ukraine ended on the night of February 24.
“We don’t have diplomatic institutions working there.”
Russian citizens who remain in Ukraine can return to Russia, following the evacuation of the embassy. They can contact the consular offices of the Russian Federation in neighboring states, Zakharova said on Thursday.
Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow was recognising the DPR and LPR. On Thursday he announced the beginning of a special operation in Ukraine aimed at the demilitarisation and denazification of the country that is neighbouring Russia.
The decision was prompted by the deteriorating situation on the line of contact between Kiev’s forces and the Donbass republics, with the Ukrainian Army intensifying the shelling of cities and positions of the DPR and LPR last week.
A monitoring mission of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has spotted over 2,000 ceasefire violations, with the LPR saying that the OSCE recorded Kiev violating humanitarian law.