In a context of military deployment on both sides of the Russian border, Kiev calls on NATO. For its part, Moscow warns against a dangerous escalation which should worry the United States, Kiev’s allies.
While tension has been high for several days in eastern Ukraine, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Riabkov reported on a discussion between Russian and American diplomats, warning of an escalation in the region .
“We have had contacts with the American administration on the situation in Donbass. We have explained to the United States what is going on exhaustively, ”he explained on April 6, in comments reported by the TASS press agency.
Sergei Riabkov also accused Kiev and its allies (including the United States) of increasing provocations, believing that Washington should “be concerned about the consequences of this coordinated policy”.
NATO membership ‘would make’ situation worse, says Moscow
On the same day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on NATO to rapidly validate his country’s plan to join the military organization in order, according to him, to send a “real signal” to Russia. “NATO is the only way to end the war in Donbass,” he added, after speaking by telephone with Alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
The Kremlin, through its spokesman Dmitry Peskov, responded in the wake: “We very much doubt that this will help Ukraine to solve its internal problem. From our point of view, that will make the situation even worse. ”
Tension at its height
In a statement posted on Facebook on April 3, the Ukrainian armed forces announced that joint military exercises with NATO troops would begin in a few months. According to the same source, more than a thousand soldiers from five Alliance member countries will take part in “defensive actions”. […] followed by an offensive aimed at restoring the state border and the territorial integrity of a state which has been attacked by one of the hostile neighboring countries ”. Three days later, a deployment of troops near the border with Crimea, attached to Russia after a referendum in 2014, was also announced.
On April 1, Kiev accused Moscow, in a statement, of carrying out a “show of force in the form of military exercises and possible provocations along the border”.
An allegation swept aside by Moscow. Asked during a press conference on April 2 by the Ukrainian news agency UNIAN about a strengthening of the Russian military presence near the border with Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov retorted that Russia was taking “the necessary measures to ensure the security of its borders” because of “increasing activity of the armed forces of NATO member countries, other alliances and independent countries […] along the Russian border ”.