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Kremlin says EU is 'acting in a hostile fashion' over arms supplies to Ukraine

The Kremlin has accused the European Union of “acting in a hostile fashion towards us” over arms supplies to Ukraine.

Russia’s government warned that supplying weapons to Ukraine is “dangerous and destabilising” as Russia continues to advance on the country.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov declined to elaborate on Vladimir Putin’s decision on a “special regime” for nuclear forces or the number of casualties the Russian forces has suffered.

Putin has ordered that Russia’s nuclear deterrent forces be put on high alert, saying aggressive statements by NATO leaders and economic sanctions against Moscow were behind the decision.


Follow live updates: Blasts heard in Kyiv and Kharkiv as Zelenskyy says next 24 hours ‘crucial’ for Ukraine

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov attend a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia February 27, 2022. Sputnik/Aleksey Nikolskyi/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Vladimir Putin meets with his defence minister Sergei Shoigu and military boss Valery Gerasimov

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace described his comments as “a big attempt to distract away from his troubles in Ukraine” by reminding the world Russia has nuclear capability.

The West has stepped up arms supplies to Ukraine to help its defence against a Russian invasion that Moscow calls a “special military operation” aimed at protecting civilians.

More on Russia

Key developments in the Ukraine crisis:

Putin orders nuclear deterrent forces to be put on high alert
Zelenskyy: Ukraine and Russia to hold talks at Belarus border
Ukraine claims control of key city Kharkiv after fierce clashes

Foreign secretary warns conflict could last ‘years’
BP to offload its stake in state-owned Russian oil giant Rosneft

The Kremlin also acknowledged on Monday that Russia’s economic reality had changed – but saw no reason to doubt
the effectiveness and reliability of the central bank, which hiked interest rates to 20% as it sought to shield the economy from unprecedented Western sanctions.

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Nuclear alert is ‘attempt to distract’

Moscow will retaliate to sanctions

Putin is due to meet with several officials during the day, including the finance minister and central bank governor, Mr Peskov said.

He added that Russia had a plan to react to sanctions and was now carrying it out.

He said Moscow will also retaliate against Western sanctions that target Russia’s aviation industry.

“The guiding principle will be reciprocity, and our own interests will be at the forefront of that,” he told reporters on a conference call.

Ukraine-Russia talks begin in Belarus

Meanwhile, Ukrainian presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak has said talks with Russia in Belarus have begun, according to Reuters.

The meeting will focus on achieving an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian forces, the Ukrainian presidency said in a statement earlier.

The delegation, which arrived in the Gomel region by helicopter, also includes Ukrainian defence minister Oleksii Reznikov.


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