The US has requested clarification about the activities of Russian troops in the border area with Ukraine. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Wednesday that the military had “unusual” activities. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Russia not to make a “serious mistake” in the conflict with Ukraine, as it did after annexing Crimea in 2014.
“We call on Russia to make its intentions clear and to abide by the Minsk Agreements,” Pentagon spokesman Kirby said. Foreign Minister Blinken expressed concern over Moscow’s actions during a visit to Washington by his Ukrainian colleague Dmitry Kuleba. “We have no clarity about Moscow’s intentions, but we do know its strategy book,” he told a joint news conference.
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He reiterated US support for Ukraine’s “sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity”. Kuleba insisted that Ukraine “has no intention of attacking anyone”. The best way to stop a “Russian invasion” is to “make it clear to the Kremlin that Ukraine is strong, but also that it has strong allies”.
Ukrainian forces have been fighting pro-Russian separatists in the country’s east since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. The West accuses Russia of supporting separatists, which Moscow’s government denies.
In March, Russia gathered thousands of troops, heavy military equipment, naval ships and air force aircraft near the Ukrainian border and in the area of the Crimean peninsula in heavy deployment of troops.
The military’s actions fueled fears that Ukraine might be subjected to a Russian invasion. After weeks, Moscow finally declared the alleged maneuver finished and withdrew its troops.
In late October, however, US media reported that US government officials were concerned about renewed movements by Russian military units near the border with Ukraine. However, Kiev denied these reports.
Last week, US Secret Service CIA director William Burns made a surprise visit to Moscow. Burns, who was the US ambassador to Moscow from 2005 to 2008, also spoke with President Vladimir Putin on the phone. According to a CNN report, US President Joe Biden sent Burns to Russia to discuss the activities of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine directly with the Kremlin.
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