The U.S. State Department says there are “credible” reports of Russian military activity on the border with eastern Ukraine.
The United States has asked Russia to provide a recent “provocative” explanation for its actions on the Ukrainian border, the State Department said on Monday. Last week brought international concern.
The department says reports of Russian movements on the border with eastern Ukraine have been the latest in a series of tensions. Ice US-Russian relations US President Joe Biden was “credible” less than three months after taking office.
Speaking at a press briefing on Monday, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States would be concerned about any attempt by Moscow to intimidate whether the incident took place on Russian soil or in Ukraine.
The department said it was ready to be involved in the situation.
“We want an explanation for Russia’s provocation,” Price said.
“But more importantly, what we have indicated to our Ukrainian partners is a message of reassurance.”
The remarks came after a telephone call on Friday, in which Biden assured his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, “Steadfast support” in Ukraine’s fight with Russia-backed separatists over part of the eastern Donbass region.
Russia on Monday denied that Russia’s military was a threat to Ukraine and said it would not reconsider its position, even warning that it would respond to Ukraine’s new sanctions against Russian companies.
White House Press Secretary Jane Sasaki told reporters that “the recent escalation of Russian aggression and expansion in eastern Ukraine” is “something we are closely monitoring.”
Last week, The NATO alliance has also expressed concern On what was said about a large Russian military force on the Russian side of the border in eastern Ukraine.
On his behalf, Zelensky has accused Russia of spreading tensions.
On April 1, the President of Ukraine said in a statement, “Military exercises on the border and muscle-flexibility in the form of possible provocations are the subject of Russian-backed Russia.”
Ukraine has accused the West and NATO of sending troops and heavy weapons to Russia in 2014 to supply proxies to the Donbass.
Moscow says it only provides political and humanitarian assistance to separatist fighters as an internal conflict
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov Play build-up last week“This is not a threat to anyone,” he said, adding that Russia was working to ensure the security of its borders.
“There is a growing concern about the perimeter of Russia’s borders by NATO, other alliances, individual countries – it forces us to be vigilant,” he said.