Russia Warns of the Consequences of Escalation in Eastern Ukraine
The Russian Foreign Minister has warned of the possible consequences if the conflict in eastern Ukraine escalates further.
Sergey Lavrov said attempts to start a new military conflict could have destructive consequences for Ukraine, according to TASS news agency.
Moscow and Kiev have been blaming each other in recent days for the mounting tension in Eastern Ukraine. There, Ukrainian government forces face pro-Russian separatists who have proclaimed their own ‘people’s republics. According to Ukraine, the warring parties signed a ceasefire last year, but the rebels constantly violate it.
Russia, on the other hand, holds Ukraine responsible for flaring up the violence. President Vladimir Putin this week accused the Ukrainians of provoking armed confrontations and not keeping to agreements. The Kremlin said it feared “provocations” by Ukraine could lead to another civil war.
Ukraine says that the Russians themselves are now busy building troops on the border. The Kremlin responded Thursday, saying military manoeuvres in the border area are intended to ensure Russia’s security. According to a government spokesman, nobody should feel threatened by this.
The international community is following the situation with growing concern. The top American soldier Mark Milley called his colleagues in Russia and Ukraine on Wednesday. “We are anxious about the recent boom of Russian aggression in Eastern Ukraine, including violations of the July 2020 truce that led to the deaths of four Ukrainian soldiers on March 26,” said a US military spokesman.