KYIV, Ukraine (AA) – Ukraine on Saturday denied Russian claims that it refused to negotiate with Moscow to deescalate tensions, Ukraine’s UNIAN news agency reported.
“This is not true, we are open to realistic proposals to deescalate the conflict,” an official at the Ukrainian presidency was quoted as saying.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had said Ukraine side had “refused to negotiate”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” in Ukraine on Thursday, days after recognizing two separatist-held enclaves in eastern Ukraine.
In a televised address, Putin said the people of Donbas asked Russia for help, claiming that he wanted to “demilitarize” and “denazify” Ukraine.
Ukraine’s Interior Minister Denys Anatoliyovych Monastyrsky said over 25,000 weapons and millions of rounds of ammunition were distributed to military volunteers in Kyiv.
Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenkskyy signed a decree on general mobilization of the population. Conscripts and reservists will be called up over the next 90 days to “ensure the defense of the state, maintaining combat and mobilization readiness.”