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Putin orders Russian nuclear deterrent forces on 'special' alert

Moscow [Russia]: Russian President Vladimir Putin placed the country's nuclear deterrent forces on a "special" alert on Sunday amid the rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Putin announced the move during a meeting with Russia's Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov, reported RT News. "Western countries are not only taking unfriendly actions against our country in the economic area. I'm speaking about the illegitimate sanctions that everyone is well aware of. However, the top officials of the leading NATO countries also make aggressive statements against our country as well," Putin stated.Moreover, Ukraine has agreed to meet with a Russian delegation in Belarus, and Russians are heading to the place where the talks will be held, the head of the Russian delegation, Vladimir Medinsky, said Sunday. The talks are expected to take place in the Gomel region at the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, Belta news agency reported. According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the Russian delegation is ready for the talks and waiting for their Ukrainian counterparts to arrive. "As you know, President [of Belarus Alexander] Lukashenko had a phone call with President [of Ukraine Volodymyr] Zelenskyy. After that, President Lukashenko turned to the Russian side, to President [Vladimir] Putin, asking him not to recall the Russian delegation, as Ukraine signalled its willingness to come to the talks in the Gomel region," Peskov said.

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