Putin not picking the phone up for Zelenskiy as Russian troops mass on Ukraine's borders

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has requested talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the escalating conflict in eastern Ukraine but has received no answer yet, his spokeswoman Iuliia Mendel told Reuters on Monday.

According to Mendel, Russia has massed more than 40,000 troops on Ukraine’s eastern border and more than 40,000 troops in Crimea. At the weekend US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed "real concerns" about the situation.

Zelenskiy will head to Paris for talks on Russia’s troop build-up and the escalating conflict in Donbass, she added.

“The president’s office, of course, made a request to speak with Vladimir Putin. We have not received an answer yet and we very much hope that this is not a refusal of dialogue,” she said.

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