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World: Bulgaria claims to decide on its defense, calls Russia to de-escalation

Russia holds live-fire drills with tanks and troops near Ukraine's border while expressing pessimism about talks with US

  Russia holds live-fire drills with tanks and troops near Ukraine's border while expressing pessimism about talks with US "It's too early to tell whether the Russians are serious about the path to diplomacy or not," the White House said on Tuesday.The drills came as the Kremlin expressed pessimism about diplomatic discussions with the US aimed at staving off a broader conflict. Russia in recent months has gathered tens of thousands of troops on Ukraine's border, prompting fears of an invasion.

Ukraine-crisis-Russia-NATO: Bulgaria claims to decide on its defense, calls Russia to de-escalation

LA BULGARIE AFFIRME DÉCIDER SEULE DE SA DÉFENSE, APPELLE LA RUSSIE À LA DÉSESCALADE © Reuters / Reuters Photographer Bulgaria Affirms Deciding Only His Defense, calls Russia to Deesclass

Moscow (Reuters) - Bulgaria alone will decide on its defense plans in coordination with its NATO allies, said Friday Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, who called Russia to engage in a constructive dialogue with the West on the de-escalation of tensions about Ukraine.

"Bulgaria is a sovereign country, which has made its choice a long time ago by becoming a member of NATO. As such, we decide alone to organize the defense of our country in coordination with our partners," has Thus declared the Bulgarian Prime Minister before Parliament.

Talks with Russia must prioritize Nord Stream 2 to deter Putin, Ukraine's Naftogaz CEO says

  Talks with Russia must prioritize Nord Stream 2 to deter Putin, Ukraine's Naftogaz CEO says The CEO of Ukrainian state energy giant Naftogaz says it is absurd for Nord Stream 2 not to be among the top priorities of international talks with the Kremlin.His comments come shortly after a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council on Wednesday. It was the second high-level meeting this week between Western officials and Russia after high-profile talks between the U.S. and Kremlin officials on Monday. A further meeting is taking place at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna Thursday.


Video: Accession of Ukraine: The Ukrainian President Frustrated by the reluctance of the EU and NATO (Le Figaro)

Kiril Petkov reacted the statements Friday of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Russian, which indicated that the security guarantees requested by Russia with the Western powers included provisions requiring NATO forces to leave Romania and Bulgaria.

Moscow asks the Atlantic Alliance of legally binding guarantees on a stop of NATO expansion and the return to its borders of 1997.

asked what it meant for Romania and Bulgaria, who joined the NATO After 1997, the Russian Ministry responded that Moscow wanted all foreign troops, weapons and other military materials to be removed from these countries.

(Tsvetelia Tsolova report, written by Olzhas Auyezov, Blandine Hénault and Dina Kartit for the French version, edited by Tangi Salaün and Sophie Louet)

Biden warns of rare personal sanctions on Putin .
By Jeff Mason, Humeyra Pamuk and Dmitry AntonovWASHINGTON/MOSCOW, Jan 25 (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he would consider personal sanctions on President Vladimir Putin if Russia invades Ukraine, as Western leaders stepped up military preparations and made plans to shield Europe from a potential energy supply shock.Following multiple rounds of U.S.-Russia talks over Ukraine that failed to reach a breakthrough, Biden, who has long warned Moscow of economic consequences, upped the ante on Tuesday by saying Putin could personally face sanctions. Direct U.S.

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