On Friday, Russia has warned NATO against the troops in eastern Ukraine after Kyiv accused Moscow of creating a military presence on its border.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned that any deployment of NATO troops might “undoubtedly lead to further tensions” and on the Russian side, it might then “have to take additional measures to ensure their security,” without specifics.
Near the joint border, Peskov played down the Russian troop by mentioning that, “Russia is not threatening anyone.”
On Friday, his comments came with the Russian military announcement which may hold military exercise closer to the border which involves more than 15,000 troops and electronic warfare and air defense units.
Moreover, the Peskov was responding to a warning to Moscow from Washington against “intimidating” Ukraine after US forces in Europe raised up their alert status following the “recent escalations of Russian aggression.”
On Thursday, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke with the Ukraine counterpart and promised to stand by Kyiv in the event of further Russian hostility.
On Friday, Austin’s remarks were backed up by President Joe Biden in a phone call with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
A White House statement said incall, “President Biden affirmed the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression in the Donbas and Crimea.”
In the meantime, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his Ukraine counterpart Dmytro Kubela agreed on Friday, that “de-escalation is now crucial in order not to put at risk the ceasefire,” as per the German Foreign Ministry statement on Twitter following their conversation.
After weeks of renewed frontline clashes that have shredded a cease-fire and raised fears of an escalation of the simmering conflict in the eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions. However, the war broke out in 2014 following the change of the government in Kyiv and Moscow annexation of the Crimean peninsula. However, it has claimed over 13,000 lives, as per the United Nations.
Before this week, four Ukrainian soldiers were killed in the conflict zone. However, the death was originally reported as a motor attack by the pro-Russian separatists. Later on, the Ukrainian military mentioned that snipers had shot the troops in the back.
As per the latest escalation impelled a video call between German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday.
Notably, in the Kremlin’s readout of the call that Putin has placed the blame on Ukraine advised Kyiv for entering into direct dialogue with local separatist forces.