Europe (Times Of Ocean)- In a news conference following the talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed that the US is developing biological weapons in Ukraine.
The Kremlin has been accused of refusing to stop its attack on Ukraine so that aid could reach the people and civilians could escape. In the highest-level talks since President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion on 24 February, the Russian foreign minister met his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in Turkey. In the aftermath of the meeting, Mr Kuleba said that there was no sign of any agreement, and that Russia continued to claim that Ukraine was a threat to its national security.
Kyiv and the West dispute this claim, which was made by the Russian president when he ordered the invasion.
In the 15 days since, Moscow has continued to insist that it did not invade Ukraine and that it did not target civilians – despite reports that thousands of people were killed.
Putin called the offensive a “special military operation” in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region.
Sky’s Dominic Waghorn asked Mr Lavrov how the Ukraine and the rest of the world could believe what Russia was saying amid these apparently false claims.
“Until the last moment we wanted to resolve the matter in a diplomatic way,” he said.
“Putin explained very clearly why he chose to make that decision to conduct a special military operation and even if you’re not allowed to talk to your listeners about this you could yourself read this document and it will explain.”
Mr Lavrov insisted the West had agreed that “Ukraine is ours”.
The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed Wednesday that 18 medical facilities had been attacked during the war, including a maternity hospital in Mariupol.
Mr Lavrov dismissed concerns about Russian military attacks on civilians as “pathetic shrieks” from Russia’s enemies.
The site had previously been seized by far-right radicals in Ukraine who used it as a base.
While there are many images of civilians injured in the attack, Mr Lavrov claimed all the patients and nurses had been moved out of the hospital before the attack.
Another official denied Russia bombed the hospital just hours earlier, calling such claims “fake news”.
In addition, he claimed the US is developing biological weapons in Ukraine.
Jen Psaki called the claim “preposterous” and said that it could be part of an attempt by Moscow to justify its own use of such weapons against Ukraine.
During Thursday’s talks, Kuleba said “other decision-makers” in Russia should be consulted, adding he was in agreement with Mr Lavrov that a solution to the humanitarian issues caused by the war should be sought.
According to him, Moscow is not ready to offer a ceasefire, adding: “They seek Ukraine’s surrender. That is not going to happen.”.
The last thing Kuleba wanted was to kill the hope of Ukrainians seeking safe passage out of cities under Russian bombardment and attack.