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Ukraine Demands Security Guarantees from West, Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. president.gov.ua

Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Wednesday demanded "immediate" security guarantees from the West and Moscow aimed at averting a feared Russian invasion.

Zelenskiy made his comments as Russia began to evacuate diplomats from its Kyiv embassy after Moscow formally approved the use of military force abroad.

"Ukraine needs security guarantees. Clear, specific, and immediate," Zelenskiy said.

"I believe that Russia must be among those countries giving clear security guarantees."

Zelenskiy said that he made repeated offers to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in an effort to head off the threat of an all-out conflict breaking out in eastern Europe.

"Many times now, I have offered the Russian president a chance to sit down at the negotiating table and talk," Zelenskiy said.

"This is a question of dialogue," he said during a joint media appearance with the visiting leaders of Poland and Lithuania.

He also thanked Poland and Lithuania, two close Ukrainian allies, for keeping their embassies in Kyiv open despite the rising fears of a Russian attack.

"We are united in believing that the future of European security is being decided right now, here in our home, in Ukraine," Zelenskiy said.

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