Ukraine’s President Vladimir Putin accused him of ignoring attempts to contact him by phone to defuse him Rapidly escalating military confrontation between his country and Russia.
Volodymyr Zelensky said via his spokesman on Monday that he had asked the Kremlin to make a phone call to the Russian president more than three weeks ago, but had been ignored so far.
“The Kremlin, of course, has a request to speak with Vladimir Putin. We have not received a response yet and we very much hope that this will not be a rejection of dialogue,” Yulia Mendel told the Associated Press.
She said the request was made on March 26, when four Ukrainian soldiers were killed in a mortar attack in eastern Ukraine.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that he had not seen any requests from Mr. Zelensky “in recent days”.
Russia moved in large numbers towards its borders with Ukraine during the past month, This sparked fears that it may be planning to repeat its offensive in 2014 On its eastern neighbor, which witnessed the annexation of Crimea and the support of two separate states in the eastern Donbas region.
Ms. Mendel said that the Ukrainian intelligence believes that the Kremlin has so far mobilized 42 thousand soldiers in the Crimea and 42 thousand others in the regions of Russia bordering eastern Ukraine, and that more soldiers are continuing to arrive.
Zelensky is expected to travel to Paris to discuss the crisis with Emmanuel Macron, President of France, in the near future.
The Kremlin did not provide an explanation for the troop movements, but said it reserves the right to intervene in eastern Ukraine to protect Russian passport holders. Last week, it rejected calls for the withdrawal of troops, saying it was entitled to deploy its forces as it saw fit within its territory.
New footage surfaced on Monday of the Russian army building at a site 300 miles south of Moscow.
Sky News found soldiers and vehicles bearing the Russian Ural Military Region registration number, hundreds of miles to the east, at a large makeshift camp in the Voronezh region a few hours’ drive from the Ukrainian border.