There are “important indications” that a Russian attack on Ukraine can be avoided through diplomacy given the Kremlin’s apparent interest in negotiations on its security demands, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Saturday.
With the United States warning of an imminent invasion, Scholz told the Munich Security Conference any attack would be a “serious mistake” with high “political, economic and geostrategic costs”.
Russia denies planning an invasion. But there is “no justification” for the build-up of more than 100,000 Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders, Scholz said, dismissing President Vladimir Putin’s claims of genocide in east Ukraine’s breakaway regions as “ridiculous”.
Still, Russia had signalled both in his chat with Putin in Moscow earlier this week and in its response. to Washington’s security proposals that it still wanted to negotiate, Scholz said. Meanwhile the West was ready to negotiate over Russia’s security demands “without being naive”. Agencies