Kremlin warns of escalation if more NATO troops deployed to Ukraine
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.
According to reports, 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.
Relations between Moscow and Kiev further deteriorated when the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea rejoined Russia following a referendum in 2014.