Why is Russian Federation deploying troops to its border with Ukraine now?

Ukrainian troops

'There will be consequences': US warns Russia against aggression in Ukraine

Kuleba appealed for further economic sanctions against Moscow and more military help to Kyiv.

Sporadic fighting was reported in eastern Ukraine on Monday and early Tuesday, and at least one Ukrainian soldier was killed in the area in the past 24 hours, according to the Ukrainian military.

"One thing I know for sure is that there is no reason for American warships to be near our shores", Sergei Ryabkov, a deputy foreign minister, said, calling the planned trip "purely provocative".

In recent weeks fighting has intensified between Ukraine's army and pro-Russian separatists in the country's east, with signs of a Russian troop build-up in the region raising concerns of major escalation in the long-running conflict.

The ministers, most of whose countries also belong to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, "are deeply concerned by the large ongoing build-up of Russian military forces on Ukraine's borders and in illegally-annexed Crimea", they said in a statement.

On Feb. 26, 2021 Secretary Antony Blinken speaks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington.

Kuleba said Ukraine "does not want war" and is "devoted to diplomatic and political means of settling the conflict".

Russian Federation has not denied the troop buildup along the border but officials said it was not planning on going to war with Ukraine.

The latest attack brought the total number of Ukranian soldiers killed by Russian-backed forces in Donbas to 27 this year alone.

The Ukrainian foreign minister sounded defiant toward Moscow, and said Ukraine and its Western partners were better prepared than seven years ago.

Videos circulating online showing a continued military build-up on Russia's border with Ukraine is heightening fears about the potential eruption of conflict in Europe's east.

"We do not and will not lose time, and should Moscow take any reckless move or start a new spiral of violence it will be costly in all senses".

In recent weeks, Western officials have expressed concerns about Russia's military buildup close to Ukraine's eastern border and the Crimean Peninsula, which Russian Federation annexed in 2014.

Russian Federation denies Western claims that it has sent troops into eastern Ukraine to help the rebels, but officials say the army could intervene if Ukraine tries to retake the area by force. Kremlin officials charged that Kyiv's actions have threatened Russia's security, warning that Russia may intervene to protect Russian speakers in the east.

"Russia must end this military buildup in and around Ukraine, stop its provocations and de-escalate immediately", Stoltenberg said. "It's a sovereign right of every nation like Ukraine to apply for membership".

He added: "Russia is now trying to reestablish some kind of sphere of influence where they try to decide what neighbours can do".

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to join Stoltenberg on Wednesday to assess the Russian troop buildup, among other issues.

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