The United States and the European Union have expressed concern over reports of Russian military movements near Ukraine and have warned Moscow that any aggressive action would be a “serious mistake.” Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and has backed separatists involved in the same year in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Kiev complained last week that Russia was holding tens of thousands of troops near the border, claiming that about 90,000 Russian soldiers were stationed in the separatist-controlled border area in eastern Ukraine.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on November 12 that Washington was concerned about Moscow’s actions and warned against the occupation. “We are very concerned about any irregular action of the forces we see on the Ukrainian border,” Blinken told reporters. “It would be a serious mistake for Russia if it intended to repeat what it did in 2014,” Blinken said, reiterating the same warning he made when he met in Washington with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. Blinken said after that meeting that the US commitment to Ukraine’s territorial integrity was “iron”.
In Brussels, European Union spokesman Peter Stano told reporters that the European bloc was alarmed by Russia’s military activities near the border with Ukraine. “We are continuing to look at the situation and the information we have received so far is worrying,” Stano said. He said the 27-nation bloc was monitoring the situation with partners, including the United States and Britain, and “we are open to analyzing further steps, if needed.”
Russia has denied allegations that it has aggressive intentions. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow “posed no threat to anyone” but needed to take care of its own security in response to NATO “provocative actions”.
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