Russia ‘threatening Ukraine with destruction’, Kyiv says

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The overseas minister’s feedback come as his counterparts from the Baltic nations go to Kyiv in a present of solidarity.

Ukraine’s overseas minister has accused Russia of flagrantly threatening Ukraine with destruction as fears proceed to rise over a potential escalation of hostilities within the nation’s conflict-stricken east.

Fighting has intensified in current weeks in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk areas, the place authorities forces have battled Russian-backed separatists since April 2014 after the rebels seized a swath of territory there.

Meanwhile, Russia has amassed tens of 1000’s of troops in addition to tanks and artillery near the shared border within the area. Moscow has additionally mobilised troops within the annexed Black Sea area of Crimea, which it seized from Ukraine in March 2014.

Addressing a information convention on Thursday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba condemned the Kremlin’s “aggravation of the security situation” and accused Russian pundits and officers of “openly threatening Ukraine with war and the destruction of Ukrainian statehood”.

“Moscow’s actions and statements [are] aimed at escalating military tensions and undermining diplomatic efforts to resolve the Russian-Ukrainian conflict,” he mentioned.

WEB MAP UKRAINE RUSSIA SEPARATIST AREAS REFRESH

Kuleba additionally warned Moscow towards initiating any incursion into Ukraine, stating any intensification of the escalation within the Donbas area, of which Donetsk and Lugansk are an element, would have “very painful” penalties for Russia.

“The red line of Ukraine is the state border. If Russia crosses the red line, then it will have to suffer,” he mentioned. “The world is on the side of Ukraine and international law.”

Baltic nations rally round Ukraine

Kuleba’s warning got here because the overseas ministers of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia arrived in Ukraine on Thursday morning in a present of solidarity within the face of the Russian army buildup.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis informed reporters that “Ukraine will never be on its own”.

“We stand with you, we stand in solidarity,” he mentioned.

Russia has beforehand mentioned its troop actions pose no menace and are merely defensive. It has additionally said the army items would stay in place so long as the Kremlin noticed match.

But the buildup has alarmed Ukraine’s allies, prompting calls from NATO for Russian President Vladimir Putin to order a pullback.

On Wednesday, NATO members Germany and the United States urged Moscow to reverse course and de-escalate the scenario within the area.

A day earlier, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg urged Russia to finish its “unjustified” army buildup.

While Kyiv has welcomed the reveals of Western assist, they fall in need of Ukraine’s want for full NATO membership – which Moscow opposes.

Moscow blames NATO, US

Moscow has refused to vary tack, and this week blamed NATO and the US for turning Ukraine right into a “powder keg” with growing arms provides to the nation.

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied interfering in Donbas, however Ukraine and several other Western nations have mentioned separatist forces within the area have been armed, led, funded and aided by Russia.

On Tuesday, within the first public description of the army buildup, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu mentioned Moscow had moved two military and three paratrooper items to its western border as half of a big snap drill meant to check fight readiness and reply to what he referred to as threatening army motion by NATO.

Shoigu mentioned on state tv that the three-week train was on account of wrap up within the subsequent two weeks.

He additionally claimed NATO was deploying 40,000 troops and 15,000 items of army gear near Russia’s borders, primarily within the Black Sea and the Baltic areas. NATO denies having made such plans.

Russia has beforehand accused NATO of destabilising Europe with its troop reinforcements within the Baltics and Poland because the annexation of Crimea, which got here after an rebellion that toppled former Kremlin-friendly Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

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