Russia warned of serious consequences from any hostilities against Ukraine

Russia will face “severe penalties” if it threatens Ukraine’s territorial integrity, Paris and Berlin have warned, as ministers held conferences discussing the risk posed by a build-up of troops on the nation’s border.

In a joint assertion, Heiko Maas and Jean-Yves Le Drian, the overseas ministers of Germany and France, pledged “unwavering assist for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine” after assembly their counterpart from Kyiv.

Their phrases got here after Jens Stoltenberg, Nato’s secretary-general, known as on Moscow to ease tensions with Ukraine and be clear about its navy actions as he warned of “uncommon concentrations” of Russian troops close to the nation’s borders.

The US briefed allies final week about intelligence indicating that Moscow was making ready for a potential invasion of Ukraine. Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, has dismissed the fears as “alarmist” and accused Nato of inflaming tensions within the area with its personal unplanned workout routines.

In a phone dialog with Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, on Monday, Putin stated the naval workout routines within the Black Sea had been “provocative” and accused Ukraine of “damaging” navy exercise within the Donbass that he stated was “designed to interrupt the Minsk accords”.

Each side agreed that the battle within the Donbass was “getting even worse,” in keeping with a Kremlin readout of the decision.

Kyiv estimates that Russia has deployed as many as 114,000 forces to the north, east and south of Ukraine — together with about 92,000 floor troopers and the remainder in air and sea navy forces, Kyrylo Budanov, chief of Ukraine’s navy intelligence, has advised the FT.

Chatting with the Monetary Instances on Monday night, Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s overseas minister, stated he anticipated the nation’s allies to start engaged on “deterrence” measures aimed toward dissuading Putin from taking any navy motion. He declined to present any particulars.

“I’m afraid {that a} easy expression of concern doesn’t persuade Russia, and doesn’t make it behave much less aggressively,” he stated in an interview following conferences in Brussels. “Every thing that may strengthen Ukraine’s capability to defend itself and demotivate Russia from resorting to navy actions is on the desk.”

Earlier on Monday, Maas stated that Germany was making it clear to Russia on all diplomatic ranges “that we’re seeing [the troop build-up on Ukraine’s borders] and that this can’t be the beginning of a brand new escalation”. 

Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, spoke about it “very clearly” on a telephone name with Putin, Maas stated.

Stoltenberg stated Nato’s assist to Ukraine was “not a risk to Russia” and stated workout routines by the alliance and its allies within the Black Sea area had been “defensive and clear”.

Nevertheless, Moscow accused the US and its allies of “damaging bravado” over the state of affairs in Ukraine. Sergei Ryabkov, deputy overseas minister, advised information company Tass on Monday: “There are fewer and fewer grains of any sort of motive left. It’s stuffed with provocative rhetoric towards us and its content material can be extraordinarily provocative.”

EU overseas ministers met in Brussels on Monday the place in addition they mentioned the state of affairs on the jap border of the EU.

The union has accused the regime of Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko of searching for to deliberately appeal to migrants to its borders as a part of a plan to destabilise the EU in retaliation for its assist for the political opposition of Belarus.

Requested if there was any connection between Russia’s actions close to Ukraine and the state of affairs in Belarus, which has been backed by Russia, Josep Borrell, the EU’s prime diplomat, declined to attract any conclusions. “It’s clear Lukashenko is doing what he’s doing as a result of he has the robust assist of Russia,” Borrell stated.


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