Kremlin warns of escalation if more NATO troops deployed to Ukraine
Iran Press TV
Friday, 02 April 2021 1:41 PM
The Kremlin has warned NATO that any plan to deploy more troops to Ukraine to buttress its ally would further escalate tensions near Russia's borders.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia would be forced to take extra measures to ensure its own security if the US deploys troops in support of Ukraine.
"There is no doubt such a scenario would lead to a further increase in tensions close to Russia's borders. Of course, this would call for additional measures from the Russian side to ensure its security," Peskov said without specifying the moves.
However, he insisted that Russia was not making any move which would threaten Ukraine.
"Russia is not threatening anyone, it has never threatened anyone," Peskov said.
He described as quite frightening the situation at the contact line in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russia separatists. The official pointed to multiple "provocations" there.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned that any attempt spearheaded by the West to start a new military conflict in Ukraine's east would culminate in the 'destruction' of the country.
Lavrov raised the alarm after Ukraine's commander-in-chief accused Moscow of building up forces near their shared border and claimed that pro-Russia separatists were systematically violating a ceasefire in the eastern Ukrainian region of the Donbass.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Thursday that he had spoken to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which monitors the effects of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, about Russia's "systemic aggravation" of the security situation in Ukraine and Crimea.
Moreover, a NATO official claimed Moscow was undermining peace efforts in the restive Ukrainian region.
The armed confrontations began when a wave of protests in Ukraine overthrew a democratically-elected pro-Russia government and replaced it with a pro-West administration.
The new government then began a crackdown on the mainly ethnic Russians in the east, who in turn took up arms and turned the two regions of Donetsk and Lugansk â€” collectively known as the Donbass â€” into self-proclaimed republics.
Kiev and its Western allies accuse Moscow of having a hand in the crisis. Moscow denies the allegation.
Relations between Moscow and Kiev further deteriorated when the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea rejoined Russia following a referendum in 2014.
Later in 2015, the two sides signed a ceasefire deal in the Belarus capital, Minsk, with French and German support, but both parties have on numerous occasions accused each other of violating the ceasefire.
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