The Kremlin rejects Washington’s claim that Moscow may be ready to invade Ukraine.
The Kremlin has accused the United States of inciting “hysteria” over Ukraine by repeatedly suggesting that Russia is ready to launch an attack on its neighbor after a build-up of troops along their shared border.
Sunday’s remarks by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov came a day after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington was concerned with its European partners about Russian activities on its border with Ukraine.
“This hysteria is being whipped up artificially,” Peskov said in comments broadcast on state television Sunday, suggesting it was not “logical or polite.”
“We are accused of some unusual military activity on our territory by those who brought in their armed forces from across the sea. That is, the United States of America. “
Kiev has previously said it fears Moscow may be preparing an attack.
U.S. and NATO officials have been making similar statements for almost two weeks, citing what they say are unusual Russian troop movements in the region.
The head of Ukraine’s military intelligence told the Military Times outlet over the weekend that Russia had gathered more than 92,000 soldiers around Ukraine’s borders and was preparing for an attack in late January or early February.
Kyrylo Budanov said such an offensive would likely involve airstrikes, artillery and armored attacks, followed by airstrikes in the east, amphibious attacks in Odesa and Mariupol and a smaller invasion by neighboring Belarus.
But Moscow, which had joined forces in the region earlier this year, repeatedly dismissed such proposals as inflammatory, complaining about what it said was increasing NATO-led activity in the region.
Peskov said “a provocation” in the area could not be ruled out, given US rhetoric. He also suggested that Kiev, which is fighting separatist rebels in the country’s east, is likely to look for a way to solve its own problems by force.
Moscow annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014 and the same year Russian-backed separatists seized a strip of eastern Ukraine, in regions bordering Russia.
Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Russia of sending troops and weapons across the border to support rebel forces in the Donbas. Moscow denies those claims.
Peskov said Moscow wanted NATO to stop “concentrating a military fist” near Russia’s borders and to stop arming Ukraine with modern weapons.
The Kremlin said in September that NATO would cross a Russian red line as it expanded its military infrastructure in Ukraine.
A ship carrying two rebuilt former U.S. Coast Guard patrol boats designed to bolster the Ukrainian navy sailed through Dardanelle Strait on Saturday.
Ukraine, which is striving to become a NATO member, received a large consignment of US ammunition and Javelin tank missiles earlier this year, which drew criticism from Moscow.