Putin warns the West over Ukraine

Russia's President Vladimir Putin is threatening a 'tough response' if the West does not back down over Ukraine.

Moscow has amassed tens of thousands of troops on the border with the former Soviet Republic,

and is demanding that NATO guarantee it never admit the country into the alliance or deploy weapons or troops there.

Speaking to military officials in Moscow on Tuesday, Putin said Russia had no room for retreat.

"What they do now on Ukraine territory - or they try to do, they plan to do - is happening not thousands of kilometres from our state border but at our gates. (OVER AUDIENCE) They must understand that we have nowhere to retreat."

"Armed conflicts and bloodshed are absolutely not something we would choose, we do not want such a scenario. We want to solve problems using political and diplomatic tools. But also - to have explicit, understandable, well-defined legal guarantees."

The U.S. on Tuesday said it was preparing talks with Putin over his security concerns,

but many of the Russian leader's demands are seen as non starters by Washington and its partners.

Karen Donfried, the U.S. State Department's top diplomat for Europe, said Washington would continue to send military equipment and supplies to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is said to be considering tough export control measures to disrupt Russia's economy if Putin invades Ukraine.

A Biden administration official told Reuters the proposed measures would halt Russia’s ability to import smartphones, key aircraft and automobile components, and materials from many other sectors.

Russia rejects Ukrainian and U.S. accusations that it may be preparing an invasion of Ukraine.

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