Putin: Russia wants security guarantees, now

Russia wants to avoid conflict with Ukraine and the West, Putin said at his annual news conference on Thursday (December 23), but needs an "immediate" response from the United States and its allies to its demands for security guarantees.

Ukraine is at the center of soaring East-West tensions after the United States and Kyiv accused Russia of weighing a new attack on its southern neighbor, an allegation Moscow denies.

Putin grew heated when recalling how NATO had "brazenly tricked" Russia with successive waves of expansion since the Cold War, and said Moscow needed an answer urgently.

"You must give us security guarantees, immediately - now," he said.

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