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After tense meeting, Russian FM says facts 'bounce off' his British counterpart

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a meeting with British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in Moscow, Feb. 10, 2022. (Photo by Reuters)

Russia’s foreign minister says his British counterpart appeared ignorant and not listening to his proposals over the Ukraine crisis during their meeting in Moscow.

“I'm honestly disappointed that what we have is a conversation between a dumb and a deaf person...Our most detailed explanations fell on unprepared soil,” Sergei Lavrov said in a joint news conference with Liz Truss on Thursday.

"They say Russia is waiting until the ground freezes like a stone so its tanks can easily cross into the territory. I think the ground was like that today with our British colleagues, from which numerous facts that we produced bounced off,” Lavrov said. 

He said Truss did not change her tone throughout their two-hour meeting, ignoring his explanations and repeating statements that the UK had already made.

Truss said Moscow intended to intimidate Kyiv with its military build-up near the Ukrainian border. She also justified NATO’s military build-up in the Eastern Europe, saying: “No one is undermining Russia's security.”

It was “perfectly proper” for Ukraine to defend itself and seek alliances, she added.

The UK government threatened Russia earlier this month with sanctions against Kremlin officials and Russian companies. 

Russian Government spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the British threat as “very disturbing”, saying it would hurt British companies.

“An attack by a given country on Russian business implies retaliatory measures, and these measures will be formulated based on our interests if necessary,” Peskov said.

Western powers, including the UK and the US, accuse Russia of amassing troops near the Ukrainian border to invade the country. Moscow rejects the allegations and says the deployments are defensive in nature.

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