Putin snubs Merkel meeting over Ukraine tensions

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Putin snubs Merkel meeting over Ukraine tensions

The Russian President rejected the idea of a meeting with Mrs Merkel after she requested an audience with him to discuss the escalating Russian military presence on the border with Ukraine. She called for a strong EU response in the wake of the rejection, saying she regretted Putin's decision to snub the talks.

She spoke at a joint press conference with Poland in Berlin and regretted that the Russian president is not prepared to hold another high-level political meeting in Normandy format at the end of his term. She also sounded new sanctions against Russia if we see no progress, as she warned that Moscow was not signalling interest in resolving the conflict. At the same press conference, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki claimed Putin's ultimate goal was to divide the EU and NATO, referring to Russia's alleged role in the migrant crisis on the Poland- Belarus border. There have been fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine because of a growing military presence along the border between the two countries.

According to CBS News, US intelligence officials are warning European allies of a Russian military incursion into Ukraine, something they have said would be more likely as the weather gets colder. They said the invasion could happen in a matter of weeks, barring intervention from the West. Hundreds of thousands of Russian troops have amassed at the Ukraine border, months after thousands of troops arrived at the border in the spring. Last spring's military presence was viewed by many as a show of force, but according to CBS, US intelligence officials have said that one seems more likely to be in preparation for an actual invasion into the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. READ MORE: Putin lashes out at Biden for ''rehearsing nuclear strike.

Russia has hit back at Ukraine's attempts to build up its own military, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov criticised NATO for providing weapons to the country. Mr Peskov said that Kyiv is building up its forces, Kyiv is helping to build up its forces, Kyiv is supplied with a large amount of weapons, including modern high-tech weapons. The number of provocations is growing and the number of provocations is growing. These provocations are being carried out with weapons supplied by NATO countries.