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Putin says Russia is ready to discuss confidence-building measures with NATO, US

Sign that tensions in Ukraine are softening
President Vladimir Putin
Posted at 9:41 AM, Feb 15, 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday said Russia is ready to discuss security measures with the U.S. and NATO, a sign that the potential for a Russian invasion of Ukraine may be falling.

According to The Associated Press, Putin said that Russia is ready to engage in talks on limits on the deployment of intermediate-range missiles in Europe, transparency of drills and other confidence-building measures but emphasized the need for the West to heed Russia's main demands.

Russia has amassed more than 100,000 troops on the border of Ukraine. Putin denies that Russia is planning an invasion and instead has laid out a series of security measures they say will keep Europe safer.

Previously, those measures included a promise to keep Ukraine out of the NATO alliance and the removal of NATO troops from Eastern Europe — both of which were non-starters for U.S. allies.

Putin's comments came the same day that Russia's Defense Minister said that the country would remove some of its troops from the Ukrainian border. However, U.S. defense officials remain skeptical of that declaration, saying that Russia continues to move military assets toward Ukraine.

On Friday, White House officials warned that Russia had amassed enough troops at Ukraine's border to begin large-scale military operations "at any time."

On Saturday, President Joe Biden spoke with Putin for about an hour, warning that an invasion of Ukraine would "produce widespread human suffering and diminish Russia's standing." He also reportedly told Putin that the U.S. and its allies would "respond decisively and impose swift and severe costs on Russia."

This story is breaking and will be updated.