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Ukraine agrees to hold talks with Russia after Putin ordered deployment of nuclear weapons

Ukraine has agreed to hold talks with Russia at the Belarus border, as Russian President Vladimir Putin orders Russian nuclear deterrent forces on high alert.

With tensions with the West soaring over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Putin told the Russian defense minister to put nuclear forces in a “special regime of combat duty” Sunday. He told his officials that leading NATO powers had made “aggressive statements” and imposed hard-hitting financial sanctions against Russia.

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White House press secretary Jenn Psaki told ABC News Sunday Putin was continuing his pattern of “manufacturing threats that don’t exist in order to justify further aggression.”

“At no point has Russia been under threat from NATO, has Russia been under threat from Ukraine,” she said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy agreed to send a delegation to the Belarus border to start peace talks with Russia without preconditions.

“We agreed that the Ukrainian delegation would meet with the Russian delegation without preconditions on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, near the Pripyat River,” his office said in a statement.

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Earlier, Zelenskyy had said he would enter peace talks with Russia but ruled out meeting inside Belarus because Russia had used it to launch its attacks on Ukraine. (AFP/VOA)

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