Putin discusses Ukraine with Russian Security Council

Russian president briefs council on international contacts related to Ukrainian crisis.

Putin discusses Ukraine with Russian Security Council

Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with the country's Security Council via videoconference on Friday.

The discussion focused on the situation around Ukraine and on growing tensions that are "being provoked by external forces," the Kremlin said in a statement.

"The President briefed the meeting participants, in great detail, about his international contacts this week, including face-to-face meetings and telephone conversations. They also exchanged opinions on security guarantees for Russia," it said.

The main subject of the meeting, however, was the development of high-tech sectors of Russia's industry, according to the statement.

Western countries have accused Russia of amassing more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine, prompting fears that it could be planning a military offensive against its ex-Soviet neighbor.

Denying that it is preparing to invade, Moscow has accused Western countries of undermining its security through NATO's expansion towards its borders.

The Kremlin says it has pulled back some of its troops following military exercises, but Western leaders argue they have yet to see any evidence of that.

Russia also demanded a rollback of troop deployments from some ex-Soviet states and guarantees that NATO would not accept some of those states into the military alliance.

NATO, however, said its "door remains open" and any decision on membership is for allies and aspirant countries to take, and nobody else.

Hüseyin Demir

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