- Russia Says Ukraine, NATO ‘Continuing Military Preparations’
Moscow urges Kyiv and its allies to refrain from actions that could lead to an escalation in the conflict-stricken Donbas.
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine simmered on Wednesday, as Moscow accused Kyiv and NATO of continuing military preparations amid heightened concern over possible hostilities in the conflict-stricken Donbas region. Russia’s foreign ministry called on Ukraine and the transatlantic security alliance, which counts Kyiv as an ally, to refrain from actions that could lead to escalation, Russia’s RIA news agency reported.
Kyiv and Moscow have traded blame over increasing clashes in the Donbas, where Ukrainian troops have battled Russian-backed separatist forces since the rebels seized a swath of territory there in April 2014. Ukraine says the conflict has killed more than 14,000 people
The latest clashes come as Ukraine, its Western allies and NATO accuse Russia of engineering a “provocative” buildup of tens of thousands of troops on Ukraine’s eastern border and in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in March 2014. In turn, Russia has accused NATO and leading alliance member the United States of “provocative activity” in the Black Sea region.
The US and its NATO allies have regularly sent navy ships to the Black Sea, vexing Moscow. However, Washington reversed a planned deployment of two destroyers in the region earlier this month as the rift between Kyiv and the Kremlin widened.