Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the government via a video link at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia November 10, 2021. (Sputnik/Mikhail Metzel/Kremlin via Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday accused the U.S. of trying to stoke conflict in Ukraine and continued to insist that his government does not have any intention of invading its neighbor.

Putin claimed the United States’ “most important task is to contain Russia’s development.”

“Ukraine is just an instrument of achieving this goal,” he added. “It can be done in different ways, such as pulling us into some armed conflict and then forcing their allies in Europe to enact those harsh sanctions against us that are being discussed today in the United States.”

Putin said Tuesday that the West had not yet met Russia’s demands for a sphere of influence in Eastern Europe but was hopeful that “dialogue will be continued.”

Putin also complained that Russia’s main complaints had been “ignored” by the U.S. and NATO.

“It is already clear — I informed the Prime Minister about this — that the fundamental Russian concerns were ignored. We did not see an adequate consideration of our three key requirements,” he said, adding that Russia had not seen “adequate consideration of our three key demands regarding NATO expansion, the renunciation of the deployment of strike weapons systems near Russian borders, and the return of the [NATO] bloc’s military infrastructure in Europe to the state of 1997, when the Russia-NATO founding act was signed.”

Last week, the U.S. and NATO issued written responses to Russia’s demands. Russia has not responded formally yet.

Putin said in December that Russia would take “military-technical” measures if the West did not comply with its demands. However, Putin did not reiterate the threats on Tuesday. 

“I hope that eventually we will find this solution though it’s not easy, we understand that,” Putin said. “But to talk today about what that will be — I am, of course, not ready to do that.”

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov told reporters that Russian officials are working to draft a formal response to U.S. security proposals to deescalate the Ukraine conflict.

Russia has more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders. The U.S. and NATO have warned Russia could be preparing to invade soon.

While Russian officials have denied the accusations, Putin has remained silent on the issue.

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