Russia has no bad intention toward neighbors: Putin
Iran Press TV
Friday, 04 March 2022 6:49 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned Russia's neighbors against escalating tensions amid an ongoing war with Ukraine, reassuring that the Kremlin has "no bad intention toward" the neighboring countries.
Speaking at a televised speech on the ninth day of the military conflict in Ukraine, Putin said, "There are no bad intentions towards our neighbors. And I would also advise them not to escalate the situation, not to introduce any restrictions."
"We fulfill all our obligations and will continue to fulfill them," Putin said, adding that the Kremlin did "not see any need here to aggravate or worsen our relations." "And all our actions, if they arise, they always arise exclusively in response to some unfriendly actions, actions against the Russian Federation," he said.
The Russian leader ordered a military campaign in Ukraine over concerns about NATO military activities close to its borders.
Russia open to dialog with Ukraine: Putin
Putin said on Friday that, "Russia is open to dialog with the Ukrainian side, as well as with everyone who wants peace in Ukraine. But under the condition that all Russian demands are met," according to the Kremlin.
These include the neutral and non-nuclear status of Ukraine, its "denazification," recognition of Crimea as part of Russia and of the "sovereignty" of people in eastern Ukraine.
Last month, Putin signed a decree recognizing the breakaway Lugansk and Donetsk regions in eastern Ukraine as independent republics.
The Russian president also expressed "hope that during the planned third round of talks, the representatives of Kiev would take a reasonable and constructive position."
Russia and Ukraine are holding talks in Belarus for finding a way out of the conflict.
During the second round of talks on Friday, the two sides agreed to create humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians from unspecified locations. A third round of talks is expected to take place next week.
Putin denies Russia bombing Ukrainian cities
In a phone conversation with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Putin also denied reports that Russian troops were bombing Ukrainian cities. He dismissed such information as "gross propaganda fakes," according to his office.
Everything depends on Ukraine: Kremlin
The president's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that the negotiations "were a good opportunity to clearly convey to the Ukrainian side our vision of solving this problem."
"Going forward, everything will depend on the reaction of the Ukrainian side," he told reporters.
He said that no documents had been agreed on with Kiev at the talks, but that Moscow had told the Ukrainian side how it saw the solution to the war.
US senator's call 'hysterical Russophobia'
In response to a controversial call by US Senator Lindsey Graham on Twitter for someone in Russia to "take out" Putin, Peskov said it was an example of hysterical Russophobia.
"Of course, these days not everyone is managing to preserve a sober mind, I would even say a sound mind," said the Russian official.
Peskov also called for all Russians "to unite, be together, and unite of course around our president."
Claims of Russian attack on atomic power plant 'untrue'
In a related development, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations denied Western media reports that Russian forces had shelled Europe's largest nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine.
A fire broke out in a building adjacent to the Zaporizhzhia power plant during intense fighting on Thursday night. Western media outlets accused Russia of attacking the plant.
Vassily Nebenzia, however, told the Security Council on Friday, "These statements are simply untrue."
"This is all part of an unprecedented campaign of lies and disinformation against Russia," he added.
He said that Russian troops had exchanged small arms fire with Ukrainian forces at the power plant, but had not shelled the facility.
China calls for safety of nuclear facilities in Ukraine
After the incident, China urged all sides of the conflict to ensure the safety of nuclear facilities in Ukraine.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Beijing "will monitor the situation and call on all sides to exercise restraint, avoid escalation and ensure the safety of relevant nuclear facilities."
He also said that China is "very concerned" about the situation.
Reports of the fire raised concern from world leaders and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which called for a stop to fighting around the facility.
The IAEA said Ukrainian authorities had reported background radiation levels were normal and the fire had not affected "essential" equipment, though.
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