Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said Moscow’s main concern – the potential for Ukraine to join Nato – had not been addressed, but there was hope “for the start of a serious conversation on secondary issues”.

Tensions have soared in recent weeks as Russia massed more than 100,000 soldiers and heavy weapons at its border with Ukraine, raising fears of an invasion.

On Thursday, Vladimir Putin’s chief spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said “there isn’t much reason to be optimistic” after the US and Nato rejected Moscow’s demands for a veto on Ukraine’s potential membership of Nato in a co-ordinated response the day before.

Moscow needed time to analyse the US document and would not “rush into assessments”, Peskov added.

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