Washington's hand cited by Lavrov, who says Moscow open to peace talks
Investigators examine a destroyed bus following a missile strike in Dnipro, Ukraine, on Monday. (DIMITAR DILKOFF / AFP)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday that the United States has long been involved in the conflict in Ukraine.
The US has for a long time been participating de facto in the conflict that is "being controlled by the Anglo-Saxons", Lavrov told Russian state television.
Lavrov said that officials including White House national security spokesman John Kirby had said the US was open to talks but that Russia had refused.
"This is a lie," Lavrov said. "We have not received any serious offers to make contact."
Russia will not turn down a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden at a forthcoming G20 meeting and would consider the proposal if it receives one, Lavrov said.
Russia was willing to listen to any suggestions regarding peace talks, but that he could not say in advance what this process will lead to, he added.
Russia will respond to the West's growing involvement in the Ukraine conflict although direct conflict with NATO is not in Moscow's interests, Russia's deputy foreign minister said on Tuesday after Washington pledged more military aid for Kyiv.
"We warn and hope that they realize the danger of uncontrolled escalation in Washington and other Western capitals," Sergey Ryabkov was quoted as saying by the RIA news agency on Tuesday.
Ukraine on Monday said it needed to strengthen its air defense following Russia's retaliation for an attack on a strategic bridge in Crimea.
Biden promised to provide advanced air defense systems, and the Pentagon said on Sept 27 it would start delivering the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System over the next two months or so.
Biden and the Group of Seven leaders held a virtual meeting on Tuesday to discuss their commitment to support Ukraine.
Putin said he ordered "massive" long-range strikes after accusing Ukraine of an attack on the bridge in Crimea on Saturday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke to Biden on Monday and wrote on Telegram that air defense was the "number 1 priority in our defense cooperation".
Russia's ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, said more Western help for Ukraine raised the risk of a wider conflict.
"Such assistance, as well as providing Kyiv with intelligence, instructors and combat guidelines, leads to further escalation and increased the risks of a clash between Russia and NATO," Antonov told media.
Ukrainian news portal Strana reported on Tuesday the emergency messages read that explosions were highly likely during the day. Residents were being alerted to stay in shelters and not to ignore air alert notifications.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday that Washington's encouragement of Ukraine's "bellicose mood" complicates diplomatic efforts to solve the conflict, and it warned of countermeasures against the US and Europe over their involvement.
"We repeat once again specially for the American side: the tasks that we set in Ukraine will be solved," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on the ministry's website.
"Russia is open for diplomacy and the conditions are well known. The longer Washington encourages Kyiv's bellicose mood and encourages rather than hinders the terrorist undertakings of Ukrainian saboteurs, the more difficult will be the search for diplomatic solutions."
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning told a regular news briefing on Tuesday that China maintains communication with all parties, and the country is ready to play a constructive part in de-escalation efforts.
It is important for all parties to engage in dialogue for the de-escalation of the situation, she said.
Turkiye on Tuesday called for a viable cease-fire between Russia and Ukraine as soon as possible, saying that both sides were moving away from diplomacy as the conflict dragged on.
"A cease-fire must be established as soon as possible. The sooner the better," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview.
"Unfortunately (both sides) have quickly moved away from diplomacy" since talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators in Istanbul in March, Cavusoglu said.
Agencies contributed to this story.