Putin says he hopes dialogue on Ukraine will continue

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Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a news conference following talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Moscow, Russia February 1, 2022. Yuri Kochetkov/Pool via REUTERS

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MOSCOW, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday he hoped dialogue on Ukraine would continue in order to avoid "negative scenarios" including war.

At a news conference, Putin raised the possibility of war between Russia and NATO if Ukraine joined the alliance and then attempted to take back Crimea from Russia by force.

"Let's imagine Ukraine is a NATO member and starts these military operations. Are we supposed to go to war with the NATO bloc? Has anyone given that any thought? Apparently not," he said.

Putin said ways needed to be found to protect everyone's security.

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Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, writing by Mark Trevelyan, editing by Angus MacSwan

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