Lavrov calls for 'de-escalation of rhetoric' over Ukraine

Russian troops near the Ukrainian border will return to its permanent bases after completing its military exercises, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said, calling for a "de-escalation" of rhetoric.

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'Putin wants Finland' says former Russian adviser

A former adviser to Vladimir Putin has told the Independent that the Russian president will not stop trying to expand Russia until he has “conquered” Belarus, the Baltic states and Finland.

Russian President Vladimir Putin could want Finland says Russian aide. Credit: REUTERS/Alexei Nikolskyi

Andrej Illarionov, the President’s chief economic adviser from 2000 to 2005 warned that Russia will argue that the granting of independence to Finland in 1917 was an act of “treason against national interests”.

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