Russia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) Vasily Nebenzya on Sunday said that Moscow has no plans to occupy Ukraine, Russian news agency Sputnik has reported.
The Russian envoy further stated that the action plans were being made by Ukraine & Georgia to join NATO. Their (US) policy was to create anti-Russia Ukraine & ensured that it joined NATO.
"Ukraine joining NATO is a red line, it compels us to adopt measures in response and has placed us at the verge of this conflict," Nebenzya said.
He added that it was not Russia who began these hostilities. It is happening because Ukrainian residents and dissenters unleashed it.
"The Russian Federation did not begin these hostilities. They were unleashed by Ukraine residents, dissenters. Russians are seeking to end this war," added the Russian representative.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin told his French counterpart on Monday that the demilitarisation of Ukraine and Western recognition of Russian sovereignty over the Crimean peninsula were prerequisites to ending fighting in Ukraine, the Kremlin said, as reported by AFP.
"Vladimir Putin stressed that a settlement is possible only if Russia's legitimate security interests are unconditionally taken into account, including the recognition of Russian sovereignty over Crimea, the demilitarisation and denazification of the Ukrainian state and ensuring its neutral status," according to a Kremlin readout of the call.
(with agency inputs)